– The Dr. Ronald S. Thomas Educational Leadership Award supports teacher development –

Ronald Thomas ’67/’71

“I am tremendously optimistic about the future of educational leadership in America’s schools,” says Ronald Thomas ’67/’71, associate director of TU’s Center for Leadership in Education.

Thomas is doing more than talking about his leadership optimism—he’s investing in it through the Dr. Ronald S. Thomas Educational Leadership Award. For the next five years, one graduate student per year in educational leadership will receive $5,000.

The money will support a requirement of the program, an internship with a project that challenges students to take their leadership to the next level. Thomas has seen some amazing projects, but he has also seen projects stall because students lacked funding to carry out their initiatives.

Thomas thrives on seeing his students succeed. “The ability to help them develop their leadership potential, to give them some insight into the leaders they might become, feeds my energy and keeps me going,” he says.

His passion for teaching has come full circle at Towson University. Thomas spent his career as a teacher or administrator in Maryland public schools. He ended his public school career as an assistant superintendent for educational accountability for Baltimore County before returning to TU in 2001 to teach full time.

As a first-generation college student, TU was the only college he and his family could afford. Now, 50 years after earning his undergraduate degree, Thomas chose to commemorate the occasion with his award. “I hope this gift will encourage leadership students to continue working to increase teacher and student learning at their schools after their graduation,” he says. “Their creative ideas will take educational leadership far beyond what I was able to do in my career.”

To support the Dr. Ronald S. Thomas Educational Leadership Award, visit towson.edu/educationalleadershipaward.