Baton Rouge Native Mary Louise Jones, Ed.D., Named 2008 Recipient of Scholastic Light Award

Recognition program developed in conjunction with the National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education (NAECS/SDE)

New York, NY — December 8, 2008 — Scholastic [NASDAQ: SCHL], the global children’s publishing, education and media company, has named Mary Louise Jones, Ed.D., the 2008 recipient of the prestigious Scholastic Light Award. Since 2004, the Scholastic Light Award has honored individuals for their commitment to and impact on the field of early childhood education.

"Mary Louis has worked diligently on behalf of young children in Louisiana both in good and very challenging times," noted Cindy Gallagher, President of NAECS/SDE. "She is a true leader whose work has mattered and made a difference."

A champion for early childhood education, Mary Louise has worked tirelessly for the state of Louisiana supporting the highly-acclaimed LA 4 Prekindergarten Program and is responsible for curriculum development, program implementation and professional development for preschool, prekindergarten, kindergarten, and primary grade teachers. Following nine years of teaching in the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, Mary Louise transitioned into the Louisiana state Department of Education, where she has been a successful early childhood advocate for more than 25 years.

"We're thrilled to recognize Mary Louise Jones with this year's Scholastic Light Award," said Francie Alexander, Chief Academic Officer at Scholastic. "For many years, Mary Louise has been one of the nation's strongest advocates for early childhood education, and in a time of struggle and uncertainty in the aftermath of Katrina, she showed unwavering dedication to Louisiana’s youngest learners."

"A special privilege of working in this field is that we can find heroes among our peers and Mary Louise is clearly one of those," said Harriet Egertson, the 2006 Scholastic Light Award recipient. "She has had to cope with the aftermath of challenges brought on by a series of devastating hurricanes. She represents those who have faced enormous challenges, from children and their families, to schools and their staff, to her own colleagues and family, and yet, she and they persevere. We thank her for her service to us and her devotion to the children, families, and professionals she serves."

The Scholastic Light Award aligns with the aim of both Scholastic and NAECS/SDE to cultivate the minds of our nation’s youth at the crucial early stages of development. Ms. Jones was recognized for her dedication to the education and development of young children at a NAECS/SDE dinner held on November 3rd, 2008 in Dallas, TX.


Scholastic Tyler Reed 212-343-6427