College of Charleston School of Education, Health, and Human Performance senior fellow Terry K. Peterson received the C.S. Mott Foundation’s prestigious national William S. White Achievement Award for his decades of work in service of afterschool and the children, schools and communities that benefit. William White, president and chairman of the Mott Foundation, presented the award to Peterson before 1,500 community and education leaders in Washington, D.C. The annual award is given to individuals and programs dedicated to excellence in the service of children, schools and communities.

“Receiving the William White Award is an absolutely terrific honor because Bill White and the C.S. Mott Foundation have such excellent reputations nationally and internationally, and they exemplify excellence in all they do.  They are innovative and stalwart supporters of better learning opportunities and school-community partnerships across America,” said Peterson.

“Terry Peterson’s passion for education is matched by his remarkable ability to excite and engage others in building student opportunity and achievement,” said White. “In presenting Terry with this award, we honor and celebrate the impacts of his work to help the country’s young people develop the skills and tools needed for success.”

Peterson was recently re-elected to his fifth term as chairman of the Afterschool Alliance. He is also director of the Afterschool and Community Learning National Resource. Peterson serves on leadership committees of the National Alliance for Excellence in Education; the National School Boards Association; the Coalition for Community Schools, Foundations, Inc, the News Literacy Project and the National Association for Summer Learning. In South Carolina, he serves on the South Carolina Afterschool Alliance Board, South Carolina Arts in Basic Curriculum Committee and Charleston New Day for Learning Workgroup. He also advises a number of other education groups and organizations.

Peterson is one of only a handful of people who for eight years each has been both the top education advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Education and to a governor. At the U.S. Department of Education, he helped design and lead, for U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley, a number of major national initiatives ranging from reading to college access and from the 21st Century Community Learning Centers to the Partnership for Family Involvement. He worked on the startup of GEAR-UP, the E-rate, the school modernization proposal and Advanced Placement expansion. He also helped co-found the Arts Education Partnership, the Read*Write*Now campaign, the Pathways to College Network, International Education Week and the America
Goes Back to School campaign. With his involvement and the support of many other people, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative grew from serving approximately 1,000 children in afterschool and summer program in 10 schools with a $1 million federal appropriation in 1998 to serving more than 1,000,000 children and an equal number of families in almost 10,000 school-community partnerships with an appropriation of more than $1.1 billion in 2010.

As director of education in the South Carolina governor’s office, Peterson oversaw issues from preschool to medical education. He was the lead staff person for a widely praised statewide $2 billion, 7-year education improvement package that included early childhood initiatives; a statewide teacher recruitment center; gifted programs for academically and artistically talented students; expansion of Advance Placement course availability and accessibility; school, principal and teacher performance pay programs; innovation funds for teachers and schools; new education accountability systems; and the arts in the basic curriculum.

“There is certainly no one more deserving of a lifetime achievement award in the service of helping children succeed and thrive, than Terry,” said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant. “His commitment to and his long career in service of ensuring that our nation’s children and youth have every opportunity to learn new things, develop important skills and grow up to be important contributors to their communities and to our society is truly inspirational.”

For more information, contact Terry Peterson at 843.532.4135.