AAE Advisory Board

The AAE Advisory Board, comprised of award-winning educators
from across the country, provides advice and perspective to the AAE staff,
contributes ideas and recommendations on education policy, and serves
as representatives to the broader teaching community.

  • Leta Rains Andrews, Disney Co-Outstanding Teacher of 1993
  • Patricia Ann Baltz, Disney Co-Outstanding Teacher of 1993 and 1993 California Teacher of the Year
  • Gene Bedley, 1986 PTA National Educator of the Year and 1994 Milken Foundation National Educator
  • Polly Broussard, Executive Director (retired), Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana
  • Guy Rice Doud, 1986 National Teacher of the Year
  • Dr. Lewis Hodge, Professor of Education, University of Tennessee
  • Dr. Kevin Ryan, Director of the Center for the Advancement of Ethics and Character, Boston University


Leta Rains Andrews

Leta Andrews was chosen as the co-winner of the Walt Disney American Teacher Award's 1993 Outstanding Teacher of the Year. She was invited along with our own Pann Baltz and 48 other State Teachers of the Year to Orlando, Florida to participate in this nationally recognized awards event. It was the first time there were co-winners and we are proud that both are members of the AAE and serve on our advisory board.

Leta's special relationship with students is fostered through her own experience with failure and triumph. She believes education should attempt to meet a young person's mental, spiritual, and physical needs. As a three time Texas State Coach of the Year in basketball, she had guided her teams to 860 victories with 16 trips to the state's Final Four. She is also an inductee of the Texas High School Basketball Hall of Fame. Leta served as the director of the Texas State Basketball Camps and was a USA Olympic Festival Coach.

Additionally, Leta leads the Public School In-Service/Staff Development Programs in her district.

In her acceptance of the Disney Award she shared her philosophy about education. Leta declared, "I believe in children! Race, sex, social status, ethnicity, language, or ability is immaterial. My job is to help children realize their dreams!"

Patricia Ann Baltz

Patricia Ann "Pann" Baltz was the co-winner of the 1993 Disney Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award and was also the 1993 California Teacher of the Year.

Pann plays down the fact that a history of strokes and heart problems has left her in a wheelchair. She says it has simply changed her into a "sit and deliver" teacher. Her students call her handi-capable and draw inspiration from her energy, perseverance, and curriculum innovations. Pann says, "The personal knowledge of how precious life is has made my contribution to the lives of children a very special one."

Pann was a Cum Laude graduate of UCLA with a B.A. in English and also conducted her post graduate studies there. She has been teaching 3rd-6th grades in Arcadia, California for 23 years and over that span has earned many outstanding achievement awards. She is the recipient of the Honorary Service Award given by the California PTA, the Los Angeles County Self Esteem Task Force Award, and a scholarship to International Space Camp in Huntsville. At the prestigious American Teacher Awards, Pann was named "Outstanding General Elementary Teacher."

Pann is a gifted speaker who has addressed many audiences including the California State PTA convention, the Future Educators of America annual conference, and the Los Angeles County School Psychologists annual conference.

She is a leader in creative ideas in the use of computers in a classroom. She was named Tech Center Mentor for the Technology Center of Silicon Valley in 1991. Pann has started a cross-age Science Challenge project where elementary students are challenged to solve a particular problem on a team with a teenage "scientific consultant" from the local high school. She received a Leader in Instructional Technology Education Grant for her ideas.

Of all her awards, she is most proud that her family was given the Great American Family Award by her home city of Arcadia.

Gene Bedley

Gene Bedley is an award-winning educator and an international consultant for the Bureau of Education and Research. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the National Character Education Center in Rancho Santa Margarita California.

Gene has authored dozens of books and materials on character development, including The Big R: Responsibility, Discipline Strategies and Solutions, The Respect Factor and the Self Management Program, which are currently being used across North America by more than 200,000 educators and parents. As a frequent keynote speaker at national and international conferences, Gene is known for his highly practical, innovative and portable ideas.

Gene is chairman of Rachel’s Challenge National Educational Advisory Board the largest assembly and youth leadership training program in North America. Rachel’s Challenge includes the true life story of Rachel Scott the first student killed in the Columbine High School shooting. The program is currently reaching 1,500,000 students each year.

Gene’s pioneering work in Character Education has brought him numerous awards including the PTA National Educator of the Year, Keeper of the Dream from the Association of California School Administrators, Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award, the George Washington Honors Medal from the National Freedom Foundation, and most recently, the National Rotarian Paul Harris Award for Character-Centered Classrooms.

Polly Broussard

Polly Broussard has been an outstanding leader enhancing the status of the teaching corps in our nation as professionals in the highest sense. She is one of the founders of the Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana (A+PEL), and while she has retired from her position as executive director, she continues to serve on an interim basis as director of legal services.

Polly was a public school teacher for over twenty years serving as an early childhood educator. She is a graduate of Louisiana State University, with a Master of Education Plus 30 and a Bachelor of Arts in Education.

Extensive training in business and leadership skills provides Polly with the expertise to promote the recognition of teachers as the professionals they should be. Polly also served as an elected board member on the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE).

Guy Rice Doud

After graduating Summa Cum Laude in 1975 from Concordia College in Minnesota, Guy then moved to Brainerd, Minnesota where he taught language arts in high school and served as a youth pastor at a local church.

In 1986, Guy received the highest award the public education profession offers - the National Teacher of the Year Award - presented in a ceremony at the White House by President Reagan. This award thrust him into the national spotlight and opened up many unique opportunities to share his love for teaching.

Guy has addressed hundreds of audiences since being chosen as America's Teacher of the Year including the convention of the National School Board Association, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the National Education Association (NEA). He has also appeared on national television broadcasts such as Prime Time America, Straight Talk, and Heart to Heart. The Focus on the Family radio and publishing corporation has produced two public school videos featuring Guy entitled Classroom of the Heart and Teacher of the Year. In addition they have published two books written by Guy; Molder of Dreams, which made it in the top ten on the Christian Best Seller list, and Joy in the Journey. Concordia Publishing has recently released a new book he has written especially for teenagers, I Thought You Would Like to Know.

Guy Doud received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Judson College in 1992. He is on leave from his teaching position at Brainerd High School and has been devoting himself to speaking on behalf of public school teachers and about his love for America's children. He is readily acknowledged as one of America's most respected and beloved educators.

Dr. Lewis Hodge

Dr. Hodge is retired professor of education at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville . He has enjoyed a uniquely diverse experience in public education. He has taught junior high school English and social studies in Dallas, Texas; served as an education and training officer, Air Training Command, USAF (during the Vietnam era); coordinated the Secondary Teaching Laboratory, University of Texas at Austin, Research and Development Center; in addition to serving as a faculty member at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

As a university professor and consultant, he has teamed with others to evaluate a large school system (Memphis); develop curriculum at all grade levels in small, large, rural, suburban, and inner city schools; and implemented professional enhancements systems (state and local).

Additionally, Dr. Hodge has published numerous professional papers and journal articles on teacher education. He has been active in several professional organizations and honorary societies: the Association for Supervision and Curriculum and Development, the American Educational Research Association, Kappa Delta Pi, and Phi Delta Kappa. During the 1993-94 academic year, he lectured in Russia , Belarus , and the Ukraine at the invitation of the Russian Ministry of Education on topics related to establishing a new ethically based curriculum for Russian public education.

Lewis Hodge has been uniquely recognized throughout his career as an outstanding educator, underscored with honors such as a United States Air Force Commendation Medal, Outstanding Young Men of America Award, and the Governor's Outstanding Tennessean Award.

His educational background includes earning a B.A. degree in English from Lamar State University , a M.Ed. in secondary school administration at North Texas State University, and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction at the University of Texas.

Dr. Kevin Ryan

Dr. Ryan is a professor emeritus at Boston University and the founding director of the Center for the Advancement of Ethics and Character. The Center's mission is to support elementary and secondary schools in efforts to aid children in acquiring good moral judgment and habits.

Dr. Ryan began his teaching career as a high school English teacher. Since entering the higher education profession with degrees from Stanford, Columbia, and the University of Toronto, Kevin has taught on the faculties of Harvard, the University of Chicago, the University of Lisbon, the Ohio Sate University and Boston University. He has written and edited twenty one books, focused primarily on teacher education and character education.

Dr. Ryan and the Center for the Advancement of Ethics and Character garnered national praise for writing the Character Education Manifesto which has been endorsed by fifty of the nation's most recognized educators, legislators, and business executives in America. Whenever the subject of character education comes up in the news, Dr. Ryan is one of the first persons the media calls for comment. He has appeared on Good Morning, America and The O'Reilly Factor and has been featured in articles in U.S. News & World Report, the New York Times, the Washington Times, and the Boston Herald. In addition, Kevin has served on the AAE Advisory Board since its inception.

Kevin has extensive experience in education project fund raising.