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Monday, December 10, 2012

Mark Williams, North Heights Alternative School Teacher,  Runner Up for Brock Prize

(STILLWATER, Okla., October 30, 2012) – Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin, co-founders of the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), have been named the 2013 Brock International Prize in Education Laureates for their commitment to underserved students and innovative contributions to the field of education. Feinberg and Levin will receive a $40,000 prize, and present at the annual Brock Symposium on March 15, 2013, on the campus of Oklahoma State University.

The Brock International Prize in Education, named for Oklahoma natives John and Donnie Brock, is awarded annually and recognizes individuals who have made a specific innovation or contribution resulting in a significant impact on the practice or understanding of the field of education.

“Mike and Dave’s contribution to education is exactly what the Prize is designed to honor,” John Brock said.

The KIPP founders were selected by a panel of nine jurors during a recent meeting in Stillwater, Okla., where the Brock Prize is administered.

Runner up for this valued and coveted recognition was Amarillo teacher, Mark Williams.  Mark Williams is an English instructor at North Heights Alternative School.  His recommendation was submitted by juror, Lori Lamb. 

“Mark Williams clearly exemplifies all aspects of the Brock Prize.  He was the first alternative educator in history to be nominated for the recognition.”  Lamb continued with the accolades; “Mr. Williams’ entry can be found on the site, it was an interactive technology enriched portfolio that demonstrated the daily interventions offered for student success.”

Principal Mark Leach also was heard nationally through his compliments concerning the numerous project based activities that motivate the North Heights students and was particularly complimentary concerning Mark Williams’ ability to motivate students.  The commitment, preparation and innovation used by Mark Williams clearly impressed the panel of jurors. 

Students in Mark Williams’ classroom were recently overheard: 
"I love this school."  
"Can you believe how lucky we are?"
"I was going to drop out." 
"Me too."
"So was I." 
"Me too."
"Wow, I was too."  
"You ever watch Mr. W?"  
"All the time."
"You see what he does"
"He makes you better."
"Yeah, but he lets you be better. He makes you want  to be better."  

Mrs. Lamb, President of The National Alternative Education Association reflected the students overall message concerning Mr. Williams.  “He was selected to represent alternative educators nationally and internationally because of his vibrant spirit and determination to nurture the achievement potential within all students.”

Williams is an alum of McMurry University, West Texas A & M and attended and taught at Texas A & M University.  He is a teacher, author of 20 books, 100s of articles, a public speaker, and app author. 

The prize includes a certificate denoting the honor, and a bust of legendary Native American educator Sequoyah. To ensure its perpetuity, the prize is endowed by the John and Donnie Brock Foundation as well as the Brock Family Community Foundation.
For more information about registering for the 2013 Brock Symposium on Excellence in Education, go to or contact Brock Prize Executive Director Dr. Ed Harris at
Christy Lang | College of Education | 405-744-8320  |
Ed Harris | Professor and Brock Prize Executive Director | 405-744-7932 |

Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant university that prepares students for success. OSU is America’s Brightest Orange.  Through leadership and service, OSU is preparing students for a bright future and building a brighter world for all.  As Oklahoma’s only university with a statewide presence, OSU improves the lives of people in Oklahoma, the nation, and the world through integrated, high-quality teaching, research, and outreach. OSU has more than 37,000 students across its five-campus system and more than 25,000 on its combined Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, with students from all 50 states and around 120 nations. Established in 1890, OSU has graduated more than 240,000 students to serve the state of Oklahoma, the nation and the world.

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