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Texas State Board of Education Vice Chair Thomas Ratliff has joined a select group of distinguished Texans to receive the Golden Deeds Award, considered the most coveted award in the field of Texas education and the highest recognition for distinguished service to education in the state.

The Texas A&M University Department of Educational Administration and Human Resource Development and TASA present the Golden Deeds Award at the annual Dr. John Hoyle Memorial Administrative Leadership Institute. The award is given to an individual from any profession who has, through actions and deeds, improved the educational system in Texas to enrich the lives of all Texas public school students.

Ratliff, a governmental relations consultant and lobbyist from Mount Pleasant, was elected to the SBOE in 2010 and re-elected in 2012. He has been an ardent supporter of public education, advocating for local control and staunchly opposing voucher programs. In his public communications, Ratliff has cited the state’s responsibility to provide a “system of public free schools” to its citizens and has cautioned against such proposals as “education savings grants” that draw on public funds to support the privatization of education. (See a video of Ratliff addressing school board trustees on education issues at the TASA/TASB Convention.)

As an SBOE member, Ratliff has been diligent in efforts to raise the public’s awareness of the board and its actions and has contributed to improving the working relationship between the board and the Texas Legislature for the benefit of students, parents, educators, and schools. In addition, he has been a leading advocate for the SBOE’s updating of its Long Range Plan for Public Education, while also encouraging practitioner involvement in the development of high-quality learning standards.

As a father, Ratliff has been an active volunteer at his children’s public schools. He has served as a room parent, booster club officer, fall carnival chairman, and lunch room volunteer. He has also been a member of a campus and district leadership team and served on a district committee involved in preparing a bond package.

In June 2015, Ratliff announced his intent not to seek reelection to the SBOE.

Recipients of the Golden Deeds Award are nominated by a committee of school district superintendents from across Texas.