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Public Papers - 1992 - July

Nominations to the National Institute Board for the National Institute for Literacy


On the eve of the anniversary of his historic legislation for literacy, the President today announced his nominees for the National Institute Board for the National Institute for Literacy.

The National Institute for Literacy is the centerpiece of the National Literacy Act, signed into law by the President on July 25 of last year. The Institute will catalyze the national effort to achieve full literacy by the year 2000 by providing a focal point for research, technical assistance, dissemination, policy analysis, and program evaluation in the field of literacy.

The National Institute Board is being established to provide independent advice on the operation of the Institute, make recommendations concerning the appointment of the Director and staff, and receive reports from the interagency group of the Secretaries of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services, as well as from the Institute's Director.

The President intends to nominate the following individuals for terms of 3 years:

John Corcoran, of California. Currently Mr. Corcoran is the founder and CEO of the Brehon Co., a commercial and residential real estate building, development, and investment firm. He also serves as a member of the board of directors of the San Diego Literacy Council and leads ``Students at Risk'' in-service workshops for professional educators. Mr. Corcoran's story of overcoming a 48-year literacy handicap has appeared on ``Phil Donahue,'' ``Larry King Live,'' and ``20/20.''

Helen B. Crouch, of New York. Currently Ms. Crouch serves as the executive director and president of the Literacy Volunteers of America, Inc. (LVA). Ms. Crouch began her work with LVA as a volunteer tutor in 1969. Since that time she has served on the national board of directors and as chairperson until her appointment as president in 1981. Ms. Crouch is the past chairperson and founder of the National Coalition for Literacy.

Sharon Darling, of Kentucky. Ms. Darling is the current president of the National Center for Family Literacy, Inc. Ms. Darling served as the executive director of Literacy Concepts, Inc., in 1987 - 88 where she served as a consultant to the National Governors' Association and the U.S. Department of Education. As director of the division of adult community education for the Kentucky Department of Education from 1984 to 1987, Ms. Darling directed the adult literacy, community education, and GED programs for the State.

Jon Deveaux, of New York. Currently Mr. Deveaux serves as the executive director of the Bronx Educational Services (BES) which he founded in 1973. In 1990 a BES National Training Center for Literacy Teachers was established. Mr. Deveaux and the staff have trained hundreds of literacy teachers from around the Nation. Mr. Deveaux served as the chairperson of the New York State Literacy Council from 1988 to 1990.

Gov. Jim Edgar, of Illinois. Jim Edgar was inaugurated as the 38th Governor of Illinois in 1991. Prior to his election, Governor Edgar served as the secretary of state from 1981 to 1990. As secretary of state and State librarian, Governor Edgar created and oversaw a strong statewide network of programs and support for literacy. Governor Edgar's adult literacy program became a model for the Nation, and he was presented a literacy award by the American Library Trustee Association in 1986, given annually to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution in addressing the problem of adult illiteracy.

Badi G. Foster, of Illinois. Mr. Foster currently serves as vice president of targeted selection and development for Aetna Life and Casualty Corp. He is the former president of the Aetna Institute for Corporate Education since its inception in 1981. Prior to his work with Aetna, Mr. Foster was the director of field experience programs for the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University.

Ronald M. Gillum, of Michigan. Dr. Gillum is the State director of adult extended learning services for the Michigan Department of Education. Dr. Gillum has been with the Michigan Department of Education for 19 years, during which time he served as the director of the adult occupational educational programs. Dr. Gillum was the recipient of the U.S. Department of Education's Outstanding Leadership Award in Literacy in 1985.

Benita C. Somerfield, of New York. Ms. Somerfield currently serves as the president of Simon   Schuster Workplace Resources which publishes material for low-literate adults in public and private sector job-related programs. Since 1988 she has also served as executive director (volunteer) of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. From 1986 to 1988 Ms. Somerfield was Special Adviser for Adult Literacy at the U.S. Department of Education.

Susan Vogel, of Illinois. Currently Dr. Vogel is chair and professor of the department of educational psychology, counseling, and special education at Northern Illinois University. From 1988 to 1989, Dr. Vogel served as the director of research for the National Institute of Dyslexia, following which she was the head of the department of special education at Eastern Michigan University. Dr. Vogel received a Ph.D. in learning disabilities and communicative disorders from Northwestern University.

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