The Loyola Marymount University (LMU) School of Education will award Steve Barr, the founder and chief executive officer of Green Dot Public Schools, the 2008 Educator of the Year Award at its annual awards ceremony on Sunday, April 27th.

Barr set out to transform secondary education in California when he created Green Dot Public schools in 1999. Under his leadership, Green Dot now operates 12 high-performing charter public schools, with an additional seven slated to open this fall as part of the Locke High School transformation. Barr is credited with greatly influencing and shaping the California education system in just nine years, and serving as a leading agent of change in both the local region and nationwide.

“Steve Barr embodies innovation and determination, two tools necessary to change the face of education in Los Angeles and two principles our School of Education prides itself on,” said Shane P. Martin, dean of the LMU School of Education.

The winner of Educator of the Year is selected based on his or her impact on the field of education. This award has been given over the past ten years to influential educators, including the 2007 California Teacher of the Year Alan Sitomer; newspaper publisher Monica Lozano and actor Tony Plana, according to LMU.

“I believe education is the great equalizer in our society and that it’s every child’s right to receive a safe, high-quality, free, college-prep education,” said Barr. “It’s a great honor for me to accept this award and I appreciate LMU’s recognition of my efforts.”

In 2006, the Los Angeles Times named Barr as one of the 100 most influential people in Southern California. In addition to leading Green Dot, Barr is a State Board of Education appointee to the Advisory Commission on Charter Schools, where he provides policy recommendations to the state Board of Education on charter school-related issues.

Prior to founding Green Dot, Barr co-founded the Rock the Vote campaign and oversaw the creation of Americorps.