Two alumni were honored by the NAU College of Education during the university’s Hall of Fame ceremony on October 26, 2018. Carolyn Warner was honored posthumously as the 2018 College of Education Hall of Fame inductee, and Richard Carranza was honored as a President’s Alumni honoree.
Carolyn Warner (Posthumous)
Lauded as a caring leader and a strong representation of what it means to work in Arizona public education, Carolyn Warner’s career as a champion of Arizona teachers and public education is widely considered to be deeply impactful. Her impressive list of accomplishments and accolades led to her selection as the 2018 College of Education Hall of Fame inductee.
In the late sixties through early seventies Carolyn served as President to the Phoenix Union High School District Governing Board, which dovetailed in to serving three consecutive terms as the Arizona State Superintendent of Public Instruction from 1974-1986. She holds the distinction of being the first non-educator ever elected to the position, and held the office longer than anyone in Arizona history.
As State Superintendent she served as a member and executive officer of the State Board of Education, Career and Technical Education and served on the Arizona Board of Regents and the State Community College Board. She was a champion and advocate for increased services to schools, greater involvement of employers and the community in education policy, directed first-in-the nation Basic Skills and Employability Skills initiatives, and led the creation of the Arizona Educational Foundation.
Known and respected for her national perspective on educational leadership, she received multiple Congressional and Presidential appointments – ranging from President Jimmy Carter to George H. W. Bush – to major national policy initiatives, including the National Commission on the Public Service (the “Volcker Commission”), the National Skill Standards Board, and the White House Conference on Small Business. Carolyn also led U.S. delegations to international education conferences in Japan, Australia, Germany, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Spain and China, and conducted on-site studies of European Union vocational and technical training programs.
Cynthia Nyman wrote in her nomination letter: “Carolyn’s contributions have impacted the lives of many educators throughout the country.”
Richard Carranza ’97
Richard Carranza is a proud result of NAU’s long standing tradition to prepare top educators. Carranza, who began his career as a teacher in Tucson, is now in charge of the largest school system in the country. And if that isn’t impressive enough, he’s also been inducted into the Mariachi Hall of Fame.
When Carranza entered kindergarten in Tucson, he did not speak English. By the second grade, he was fluent and on his way to becoming a staunch advocate of bilingual education. He received his MEd from NAU, and his career trajectory included serving as a teacher, principal, and superintendent. As superintendent in San Francisco, Carranza significantly raised graduation rates for African-American and Hispanic students. As superintendent of the Houston Independent School District, he led the complex effort to re-open schools after Hurricane Harvey. In March, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio named Carranza Schools Chancellor for the city’s schools and their 1.1 million students.
“Richard Carranza understands the power of public education to change lives, and he has a proven record of strengthening public schools and lifting up students and families,” said Mayor de Blasio upon Carranza’s appointment.