Faculty News

Barbara Day honored with two awards for leadership and service in education

Barbara Day, professor of Curriculum and Instruction, was recently recognized by the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International for Key Women Educators with two awards: the International Achievement Award and the North Carolina Founders Award.

The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International has 116,000 members in nearly 3,000 chapters spread across 17 countries. Its mission is to enhance excellence in education and promote the growth of its members.

The International Achievement Award is presented annually to a member of The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International who has provided outstanding service to The Society. Day served as president of the International Society from 2006-2008 and traveled to more than 40 states as a speaker and workshop presenter.

In addition, she has served in many other offices and roles, including as first vice-president, a member of the Educational Foundation Board of Trustees, a regional director, and a member or chair of the professional affairs, research, program of work, and expansion committees.

“In each of these positions, she brought new ideas and new projects to the organization,” said International President Carolyn Rants, in presenting the International Achievement Award to Day in August 2009 in Oslo, Norway.

A long-time advocate for women in education, Day implemented several new initiatives during her biennium as international president. She challenged each chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma to reach out and support new teachers in its area and conducted a research program to define a legislative agenda regarding the most urgent needs of schools. She led an expansion effort that resulted in the installation of two new Delta Kappa Gamma organizations, one in Denmark and the other in Estonia. Additionally, she promoted lifelong learning among the members, celebrated the arts and women artists, and moved the organization into the electronic age.

Day has represented The Society at many national and international gatherings, including National Legislative Seminars hosted by the U.S. Forum, international conferences of the Committee on Teaching About the United Nations and annual meetings of the U.S. Fund for the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). While a member of the International Board of Trustees of The Society’s Educational Foundation, she founded the “Make a Miracle” campaign.

Day’s second recognition ─ the Founders Award ─ is given every two years by the North Carolina State Organization of Delta Kappa Gamma to a woman who has made outstanding contributions to the improvement of the quality of human life through education, research, publication or service.

“In the case of this year’s recipient, Dr. Barbara Day, the ‘or’ is an ‘and’ since her contributions have been numerous in all four areas,” wrote Betty Marshall, chairman of the Founders Award.

In education, Day’s accomplishments include serving as a principal, assistant superintendent and coordinator of the Curriculum and Instruction program at the School of Education. She also served on the Early Childhood Education Task Force of the National Association of State Boards of Education, which led to the publication of Right from the Start, a blueprint for the improvement of early childhood education in the United States. As president of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, she chaired an Early Childhood Education Commission composed of 13 school districts from across the United States that worked together to improve early childhood education programs.  

In research and publication, Day has authored or co-authored numerous journal articles and five textbooks, including Early Childhood Education: Developmental/Experiential Teaching and Learning (Fourth Edition) and Good Schools for Young Children (Fifth Edition). She has made presentations and led workshops at many state and international conferences and meetings, focusing especially on what teachers throughout the world say they need in order to be successful.

Her contributions through service also have been extensive. As noted above, she has held numerous offices at the regional through international levels. At the state level, she was president of the North Carolina State Organization of Delta Kappa Gamma (Eta State) from 1993-1995. In this role, her accomplishments included spearheading a drive for a new Women’s Executive Training Program, which provides stipends to support women’s participation in executive training events.

At UNC-Chapel Hill, Day served as director of the Carolina Teaching Fellows Program at the School of Education from 1989-1999. In addition, she founded the University’s chapter of the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education and currently serves as its faculty adviser. Kappa Delta Pi has honored her by inducting her into The Laureate Chapter, the highest honor bestowed on a member. In addition, Kappa Delta Pi has named a doctoral scholarship in her honor ─ the Dr. Barbara Day Doctoral Scholarship in Curriculum and Instruction.