More Than 100 Students Inducted into Honors Society for Educators

Touro GSE Holds Kappa Delta Pi Induction Ceremony to Recognize Excellence in Education

June 28, 2021
Dr. Lester W. Young Jr.
Dr. Lester W. Young Jr.

Touro GSE welcomed new members into its Kappa Delta Pi (KDP), Alpha Eta Sigma chapter during the initiation ceremony held May 25, 2021.

The celebration honored the academic achievements of 103 GSE students, who were inducted for achieving 3.8 GPAs and higher. The inductees represented GSE programs in education, special education, literacy, TESOL, math, education, school counseling, and leadership.

The KDP International Honor Society in Education, was founded in 1911 to foster excellence in education and promote fellowship among those dedicated to teaching. For over a century, the Society has consistently grown, starting with a local chapter to become the international organization it is today, with an initiated membership that exceeds 1.2 million. Distinguished members of the prestigious organization include John Dewey, George Washington Carver, Gloria Ladson-Billings Albert Einstein Stein, Ella Eleanor Roosevelt, and Margaret Mead to name a few. 

Being a member of the national honor society for educators reflects more than academic ranking but also a commitment to what KDP represents: knowledge, duty, and power. “We honor you today for your current and future commitment to lifelong knowledge development, your duty to the profession, and your acceptance of the power you possess through education to positively impact the lives of youth, children, and society,” said Dr. Jacob Easley II, Dean of the Graduate School of Education at Touro College, in his opening remarks. 

The featured keynote speaker also emphasized this message in his dynamic presentation. Dr. Lester W. Young Jr., Chancellor for the Board of Regents for the New York State Department of Education, challenged the inductees to a higher level of excellence in his compelling speech on moral and courageous leadership in a time such as this. As the first African American to serve as Chancellor for the New York Board of Regents, Chancellor Young has more than 50 years of public service to the education profession, having served as a classroom teacher, guidance counselor, supervisor of professional education, principal, and associate commissioner for community schools in New York City. In his current role, Chancellor Young is responsible for the supervision of all educational activities within the state, presiding over the University and the New York State Education Department. 

“The convergence of the current health, racial, and economic crisis resulting from COVID-19 together with the killing of black and brown women and men, the renewed wave of discrimination, and hateful rhetoric towards segments of our population together with acts of violence, aimed at Jewish, Asian American and Pacific Islanders have caused all of us to be placed in what I would describe as an incredible moral moment. And in this moment now more than ever, we need moral and courageous leadership,” said Chancellor Young. “Our collective response requires a commitment to public education and a significant investment in teaching and learning that would ensure that every neighborhood school in New York state is a place where we would want our own children to attend. I believe we are morally obligated to seize this moment to redefine what is normal and possible for all New York state students.” 

Under Chancellor Young’s leadership, the Board of Regents unanimously approved New York state's first diversity, equity, and inclusion policy statement in May 2021. The statement is based on the belief that there is both a moral and economic imperative to remove the inequities that stand in the way of success for large segments of the New York student population. School districts and institutions of higher education in the state are expected to develop and implement policies and practices aligned with the statement with a sense of urgency. 

Chancellor Young quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his speech. “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. If we do not act with a fierce urgency of now in this unfolding conundrum of life in history, there is such a thing as being too late. We must move past indecisiveness to a state of action, or we will miss our moment.

Inductees of Touro GSE’s 2021 KDP Ceremony who graduated in June 2021 were presented honor cords to don during the graduation ceremony for special recognition of their induction into the national honor society. As new KDP members, the GSE students vowed to uphold the organization’s key ideals: fidelity to humanity, science, service, and toil.