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Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Ríos to Receive NCSS Spirit of America Award

SILVER SPRING, Md., (Nov. 14, 2017) – Rosie Ríos, former Treasurer of the United States, has been selected to receive the NCSS Spirit of America Award at the 97th Annual Conference of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), Nov. 15-19, Moscone Center, San Francisco. Rios will receive a $1,000 honorarium and a commemorative gift in recognition of her exemplary contributions to the “spirit of American Democracy.” She will be speaking at the NCSS Conference on Friday, Nov, 17 at 1:00 pm, Moscone (West), Room 2001.

The Spirit of America Speaker Award is co-sponsored by NCSS and Social Studies School Service. Recognition is given to an individual, in or out of the social studies profession, who has made a significant or special contribution which exemplifies the “American Democratic Spirit." The award honors persons who follow their conscience and act against current thinking in order to stand up for equity, freedom, and the American spirit of justice.

“It is a great pleasure to recognize Rosie Ríos with this award. She is a trailblazer!  As U.S. Treasurer and today, her passion and drive to recognize the contributions of women are enabling young women to be engaged in the political world and will make a major impact in the American political scene for all women,” said Terry Cherry, President, NCSS.  

“NCSS is honored to recognize Rosie Ríos for her public service and launch of a national initiative that focuses on the achievements of historic American women. Her work continues to expand the voices and perspectives heard from all Americans in shaping our national story,” said NCSS Executive Director Dr. Lawrence Paska.     

“We are delighted to support an award that will highlight the accomplishments of Rosie Ríos’ efforts to further the ‘Spirit of America’ by inspiring and furthering women’s rights in the classroom, as part of the curriculum and beyond,” said David Weiner, CEO, Social Studies School Service.

Ríos served as the 43rd Treasurer of the United States from 2009 to 2016. Upon her resignation, she received the Hamilton Award, the highest honor bestowed in the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Most recently she initiated and led the effort to place a woman on U.S. currency for the first time in over a century. Her almost eight-year effort to redesign the nation's currency included the first-ever nationwide public engagement process in the history of the federal government using a social media portal, roundtables and town halls. In April 2016, the Treasury Department announced that women will be placed on the $5, $10 and $20 bills reflecting the theme of democracy. The concepts will be revealed in 2020, the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment. Rios is a Visiting Scholar at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. She has unveiled the first project of her EMPOWERMENT 2020 initiative, Teachers Righting History, an educational project that highlights historic American women.

Prior to her presidential appointment in the Treasury, Ríos was Managing Director of Investments for MacFarlane Partners, a $22 billion investment management firm based in San Francisco. Her career has focused on real estate finance, economic development and urban revitalization in both the public and private sectors. She is a graduate of Harvard University and was recently selected as the first Latina in Harvard’s 380-year history to have a portrait commissioned in her honor.

Ríos will be speaking at the NCSS Annual Conference on Friday, Nov. 17 at 1:00 p.m., about Teachers Righting History, an educational initiative she launched as Treasurer of the United States that highlights the critical role women have played in American history in classrooms across the country and that serves to inspire leadership and civic engagement in youth. Registration for Press Passes is available here.

Since 1989, NCSS has co-sponsored the Spirit of America Award with Social Studies School Service, located in Culver City, Calif. Former recipients include Ralph Nader, President Jimmy Carter, Marian Wright Edelman, Rosa Parks, Senator Barry Goldwater, Marva Collins, Senator George McGovern, Dolores Huerta, Fred Rogers, Morris Seligman Dees, Elizabeth Campbell, and Senator George Mitchell, Hugh O’Brien, George L. Russell, Jr., Jim Lehrer, Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow, Loung Ung, Clifton Truman Daniel (grandson of President Harry S. Truman), and Hiroshima atomic bomb survivor Masahiro Sasaki.

The NCSS Annual Conference is the largest and most comprehensive social studies professional development conference in the United States, where social studies educators share, interact, develop ideas, and enhance their skills. This year’s theme, “Expanding Visions/Bridging Traditions,” will offer more than 900 content-rich sessions covering all subjects and grade levels, a lineup of renowned speakers and education experts, and numerous exhibiting organizations displaying the latest in educational resources. For more information visit:

Social Studies School Service has been a leader in educational resources since 1965, searching out the highest quality supplementary learning materials, including books, CD-ROMs, videos, DVD, software, charts, and posters. Their experienced editorial staff and teacher consultants carefully evaluate titles from over a thousand publishers, searching for materials that are effective, balanced, easy to use, and reasonably priced.

Founded in 1921, National Council for the Social Studies is the largest professional association in the country devoted solely to social studies education. The mission of National Council for the Social Studies is to provide leadership, service, and support for all social studies educators. The NCSS membership represents K-12 classroom teachers, college and university faculty members, curriculum designers and specialists, social studies supervisors, and leaders in the various disciplines that constitute the social studies.

NCSS regards social studies as the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Within the school program, social studies provides coordinated, systematic study drawing upon such disciplines as anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, and sociology, as well as appropriate content from the humanities, mathematics, and natural sciences. The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world.

For More Information:

Ana Post
Director of Communications
301.588.1800, Ext. 114