Commissioner Edith J. Patterson to Receive "Women Opening the Pipeline" Award

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Congressman Major Owens, Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Education Braintrust, in conjunction with the Educational Technology Think Tank, will present the "Women Opening the Pipeline Award" to Edith Jerry Patterson, Ed.D., presently the Director of the Education Talent Search Program at the College of Southern Maryland and a member of the Charles County Board of Commissioners. The award will be presented on Friday, September 8, 2006, during the closing session of the CBC Education Braintrust Conference at the Washington headquarters of the National Education Association.

"Dr. Patterson is a renaissance woman with a much needed rare combination of talents. She is well versed in science, technology and the communications know-how that makes a great teacher and leader. She is as effective on the political circuit as she is in a lecture hall," states Congressman Owens. "She brings years of diverse experience as a teacher, counselor, program administrator and education policy maker to her present position of responsibility as one of the members of the governing body for Charles County."

The "Pipeline" referred to in the award describes the science, engineering, technology and education route which must be followed to maintain a competitive world-class education system. Several recent national reports have stated that there is an urgent need to commit more government resources to further open this "Pipeline." Some other leaders who have received this award are: US Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas; Education Author Dr. Dorothy Josephs; Boeing Company Executive Joan Berry Robinson; and Dr. Yvonne Freeman, Executive Director of SECME.

The extensive education of the Commissioner Paterson has prepared her for a place in the frontlines of the mission to improve education. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Virginia Union University, a Masters Degree from Bowie State University, and a Doctorate Degree from George Washington University. Because of her expertise in grant writing and review, she serves as a consultant for the U. S. Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. She is the founder and president of GLOBE TOWNE Associates and a founding member of Southern Hospitality ElderCare, Incorporated (S.H.E.).

Dr. Patterson has a daughter and two sons, Ralph, a graduate of American University, who is presently a graduate student at the University of Alabama, and Robert, a graduate of Elon University. Her daughter, Dr. Anne P. Tuggle, is a physician in Malden, South Carolina.

Despite her ample attention to parental duties, she has consistently been a trailblazer for the improvement of education. As Vice President of the National Commission for African American Education, she was chief organizer of "National Education Founding Support Day" for eight years. In 1983, Dr. Patterson was the first African American woman elected to the Charles County Board of Education where she served 12 years. She was Chair during her final year. In 2000, she was appointed as a member of the Charles County Democratic Central Committee and in 2004 served as a Delegate to the Democratic National Convention. In 2005, she made history when she was sworn in as the County's first African American Commissioner.

"As educator, policy maker, and power broker the Honorable Edith Jerry Patterson is an invaluable advocate for school reform," concludes Congressman Owens. "For a long time she will serve as one of the women guaranteeing the opening of the pipeline."

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