Frederick County Public Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Theresa R. Alban is the 2018 recipient of the Tom Cookerly Exceptional School Superintendent Leadership Award. The National Center for Children and Families’ Neediest Kids program, which Cookerly founded in 1972, presents the award to honor a school leader who works to remove barriers to achievement for students affected by poverty. Neediest Kids provides assistance to young people who need support such as glasses, hearing aids, shoes, coats and similar resources. The $4,000 award continues Cookerly’s legacy of helping students through collaborations involving the entire community and bringing attention to the growing population of needy students in the affluent National Capital Region.
“Dr. Alban was a clear choice,” said Neediest Kids Program Director Jermaine Lemons, for “the work that FCPS puts in throughout the year to make resources available to students in need….Her passionate advocacy and leadership allow her to be a tireless champion for children, particularly for children in need, and we are proud to partner with her.”
More than 10,000 students struggle with poverty in Frederick County, many facing challenges from hunger to homelessness but coming to school with the hope of building a future. Throughout her tenure as Superintendent, Dr. Alban has focused attention and resources on helping youth achieve that future.
“I am extremely grateful and honored to be recognized,” said Dr. Alban. “Public education is a cornerstone for our community. But for public education to truly work, we need to support all of our students, especially those who struggle with poverty. That’s why FCPS’s partnership with the Neediest Kids program has been so important and so successful.”
Neediest Kids will present Dr. Alban the award at its annual fundraiser Saturday, March 17 at the French Embassy in Washington, DC.
The National Center for Children and Families is a private, nonprofit child and family welfare agency with a commitment to serving poor, disadvantaged, abused, neglected, and/or abandoned children, youth, and their families. Neediest Kids provides emergency funds for basic essentials needed to keep children in school. Working with 10 school systems in the DC Metropolitan area, the program has served over 117,000 students in the past three years, providing assistance such as clothing, school supplies, transportation and dental/medical care.