Education Professor Honored by State
The New York State Education Department Board of Regents has selected Dennis Banks, professor and chair of SUNY Oneonta’s Department of Secondary Education, as the 2013 recipient of its Louis E. Yavner Citizen Award.
Banks received the award, given in recognition of his work in human rights education, during a Board of Regents meeting in Albany on Tuesday, June 24.
The Louis E. Yavner Citizen Award recognizes a citizen who has made an outstanding contribution to education about the Holocaust and other violations of human rights. The annual award was established by the Regents and funded by the late Regent Emeritus Louis E. Yavner to honor Holocaust survivors, scholars of the Holocaust and human rights issues from many professions, and self-taught experts who help to educate New York state students about these difficult topics.
Awards are presented on the basis of distinguished educational service to state institutions and organizations through classroom and public programs, school assemblies, workshops, exhibits, community service, scholarship, writings and other related activities.
“It was indeed an honor to receive this award for work that I have been doing for my entire life,” said Banks. “I was taught from an early age to respect all people. We all have certain rights bestowed upon us simply because we are human, including such things as respect, dignity and health. With rights, come responsibilities. As teachers, we have the great responsibility of molding the minds and consciences of our students as they grow into the citizens of the future. As teaching becomes a more and more complicated task, we cannot forget what is truly important: Test scores will pass, hearts and minds will endure.”