Sanders honored as Distinguished Alumnus at Wayland Baptist University

Release Date: February 23, 2009    

PLAINVIEW – Dr. Ted Sanders was honored by his alma mater with the Distinguished Alumni award Friday at Wayland Baptist University as part of the centennial homecoming chapel.

A 1964 graduate of Wayland, John Theodore “Ted” Sanders is widely experienced as an educator. He has been a classroom teacher; chief state school officer in Nevada, Illinois and Ohio; United States Deputy Secretary of Education and Acting U.S. Secretary of Education; a university president, and, most recently, he served for five years as president of the Education Commission of the States.

Dr. Sanders is the President Emeritus of the Denver-based ECS. He serves on the boards of ACT Inc., Plato Learning, Knowledge Universe, Sierra Nevada College and the Teachers Support Network. He is the co-chair of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future and the non-profit U.S.-China Center at Michigan State University. He was recently appointed Chancellor of Ellis University in Chicago.

The Friona native earned a master’s degree in teaching mathematics from Washington State University and a Doctor of Education degree in educational administration and higher education from the University of Nevada at Reno. After serving as Deputy Secretary of Education under former Texas Tech President Lauro Cavazos for almost 2½ years in the George H.W. Bush administration, Dr. Sanders served for several months as Acting Secretary of Education, advising the president on education policy. As Deputy Secretary, he was responsible for the day-to-day management of more than 5,000 agency personnel with a budget of more than $29 billion.

He was Superintendent of Public Instruction for the Ohio Department of Education for four years and was president of the multi-campus, 33,000-student body of Southern Illinois University for five years before taking the ECS post. Prior to joining the Bush administration, Dr. Sanders was Superintendent of Education in Illinois for four years following six years as Superintendent of Public Instruction for the Nevada Department of Education. He was Assistant State Superintendent for Instruction in New Mexico from 1976-79 – five years removed from teaching junior high math in Albuquerque.

He has received scores of professional honors, held numerous offices and served on many committees on the local, state and national level, has authored many professional papers and has received honorary doctorates from National Lewis University, the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, Eastern Illinois University, and Wayland Baptist University.

Ted is married to the former Beverly McSwain of Plainview. They have four children and eight grandchildren. They presently make their home in Plainview, Angel Fire, N.M. and Chicago. Dr. and Mrs. Sanders recently contributed a beautiful bronze sculpture that may be seen at the Mabee Learning Resources Center. They have helped endow two scholarships and have made other financial contributions to Wayland through the years as well.