Faculty News

James J. Gallagher given N.C.'s Old North State Award

Photo of James Gallagher

James Gallagher

James Gallagher, a member of the faculty at the School of Education from 1970 to 1998, has been honored with The Old North State Award.

The Office of the Governor issues The Old North State Award to individuals with a proven record of exemplary service and commitment to North Carolina and to their respective communities. Gallagher, senior scientist emeritus at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, was presented the award by former state Sen. Howard Lee.

Gallagher, an internationally recognized expert on early childhood development, also worked at FPGCDI beginning in 1970, including a term as director. Among his many accomplishments, Gallagher played an integral role on Gov. Jim Hunt’s planning team to develop the North Carolina School for Science and Mathematics, which was the first residential school of its kind focusing on talented students in science and mathematics at the secondary level. Gallagher also was instrumental in updating state law and regulation to better serve gifted students in North Carolina.

Gallagher was the first chief of the Bureau of Education for the Handicapped in the then U.S. Office of Education. He oversaw a wide range of new legislation representing the first major efforts by the federal government to help children with disabilities. The Bureau was at the forefront in helping to implement laws to facilitate the education of children with disabilities. Under the tenure of Commissioner Jim Allen, he was promoted to deputy assistant secretary for planning, research, and evaluation.

Gallagher has produced over two hundred articles in a wide range of professional journals, as well as 39 books, including one of the most widely used textbooks in gifted education, which he co-authored with his daughter, Shelagh Gallagher.

Gallagher has been recognized many times for his work. In 2009, the National Association for Gifted Children honored the elder Gallagher as the third inductee into its Legacy Series. In 2007, he received the Harry Passow Leadership Award from the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, given in recognition of his work regarding policy and practices in gifted education.

Gallagher still contributes to important research and writing on gifted education, exceptional children and early childhood education.