Reimagining Education

2018 Champions of Education Reform Awards gala a big success

Surrounded by innovative educational exhibits chronicling the amazing transformation of gaming from simple board games to interactive virtual reality, over 150 Missouri leaders and innovators braved an early snowstorm on November 15 for one purpose — to champion the movement to reimagine education in Missouri and give every child, regardless of income or zip code, access to a high-quality education.

CEAM’s 2018 Champions of Education Reform Awards Gala was a celebration of Missouri’ recent success in expanding education opportunities through the new virtual education law, a chance to honor all of the supporters and volunteers who have made the fight for education reform possible in Missouri, and rededication to the difficult battle ahead as we work toward expanding charter schools, creating the state’s first ESA program and making sure parents have access to easy to understand and meaningful data on school achievement.

Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels honored

CEAM honored former Indiana governor and current Purdue University President Mitch Daniels,  an education visionary who took bold steps to reimagine education in his home state of Indiana.

Daniels shared insights from his difficult battle to open doors of opportunity for students in Indiana and warned that the fight ahead in Missouri would not be an easy one, but told the attendees that it was the most important fight they could be focused on for the future of the state.

“I could not resist the chance to spend an evening in the company of selfless people, idealistic people,  people who put the interest of the children above the interest of adults,” said Daniels. “This is the civil rights issue of our time.”

“I can’t think of a more socially just cause than school choice,” he said, noting that the movement was focused on, “freeing and empowering many of the least powerful and least influential of our fellow citizens to make one of the most important choices they will ever make – how to ensure a better future for their children.”

Gala sets the stage for 2019 efforts

Funds raised through the gala, thanks to the sponsors and patrons listed below, will help CEAM continue its mission to expand awareness, advocacy and action for education reform in Missouri.

With the funds raised, CEAM will be able to expand our social media efforts to raise awareness and stage a policy panel and rally in Jefferson City during National School Choice Week; increase canvasing and outreach booth efforts to help parents understand their rights and options, enlist support and gather signatures; and organize more trips to Jefferson City and advocacy training sessions for parents, students and school leaders throughout the state.

CEAM is incredibly thankful for all of our sponsors and patrons who help to make these activities possible. If you were unable to attend the gala and would like to support CEAM’s 2019 efforts, please become a one-time or monthly donor.


 Champion Presenting Sponsor 
Dr. Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield

Excellence in Education Dinner Sponsors
EdChoice        |   First Rule Film

Quality Seats Venue Sponsors
Justine and Jeff Craig-Meyer
Slay & Associates     |    Centene Corporation

 Champion of Education Reform Awards Sponsors
Maxine Clark and Bob Fox.    |    K12
Nina and Brian Murphy
National School Choice Week
Kim Olson    |     Joshua Schindler, Esq.
Donna Wilkinson

 Be the Change Table Sponsors
Kerry & Michael Casey
Shonagh Clements & Tony Palazzolo
Carolyn Cash & Ted Haumeuller
Ryan Hawkins    |    Mary Grace Kaufman
William T. Kemper Foundation
Rafco Property Management
Dr. Joe Ojile    |    Michael Vollmer
Carol & Ambassador G.H. Walker, III


R.G. Ross  |   David Schmid  |  Linda & Woody Cozad

Barbara & Dolph Bridgewater  |   IFF

Debbie & Carl Bearden  |  Kevin & Christie Buchek

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