September 21, 2018

Ted McConnell, champion of law-related and civic education efforts, receives ABA award

WASHINGTON, Sept. 21, 2018 – The American Bar Association today honored longtime civics education leader and advocate Ted McConnell with its Isidore Starr Award for Excellence in Law-Related Education.

The award, which recognizes individuals for outstanding achievements in teaching about the law in the elementary and secondary grades, was presented during the 30th National Law-Related Education Conference in Chicago.

“We are thrilled to present Ted with the Starr Award to recognize his long commitment to educating people about the rule of law and its importance to our communities, as well as his experience in advocacy in the field of civic education,” said Ruthe Catolico Ashley, chair of the Standing Committee on Public Education.

McConnell is the executive director of the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools. It is a coalition of more than 60 national organizations, which are committed to improving the quality and quantity of civic learning in the nation’s schools.

He has spent more than 20 years, as the national coordinator of civic learning programmers, funders, researchers, and policymakers, to promote quality law-related education in Congress, state houses, board rooms, universities, and classrooms across the nation.

McConnell has been involved in political and governmental sectors for more than 40 years, holding positions such as: Congressional affairs assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, assistant to the chairman of events for the Commission on Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, and 1980 presidential transition assistant.

An advocate for civic education, McConnell led tireless efforts to effectuate law-related education policy changes at the national, state and local level. He was instrumental in the passing of the Sandra Day O’Connor Act (Florida), as well as legislation in Illinois, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Washington.

In his nomination letter, Marshall Croddy, president of the Constitutional Rights Foundation, said of McConnell: “Ted strives to raise the profile and potential of the field of civic and law-related education by giving us all opportunities to work together to advance the work.”

Another nominator, Leslie C. Francis, chair of the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, said in his nomination letter that the Starr Award, “serves as a reminder of the power of one—one person, one patriot, one activist, one person with the courage to say, “No!” when necessary and “Yes!” when it will move the agenda.”

McConnell attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, where he majored in political science and business administration.

The Isidore Starr Award for Excellence in Law-Related Education is presented by the ABA Division for Public Education. Established in 1983, the award is named in honor of Isidore Starr, an educator and lawyer who was a life-long advocate for law-related education, first integrating law into his high school civics class in 1934.

With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at on Twitter @ABANews.