The Murray O. Batten Humanitarian Award is named in honor of Murray O. Batten, former Director of Special Education in the Michigan Department of Education. Nominations of deserving candidates are solicited and received by the ISD/ESA Board of
An Amazing Career. . .
Following graduation from Wayne State University, Mr. Batten began his career serving as a teacher in the Detroit Public Schools. He then became a social worker in the psychological clinic and from there a teacher of emotionally disturbed children, all in the Detroit Public Schools.
He then moved to Lansing in 1960 where he joined the Michigan Department of Education as a consultant in special education. He was promoted to supervisor of federal assistance programs for persons with disabilities in 1971. In 1973, he became state director of special education, a position he held until 1981. Throughout his career, Mr. Batten was an outstanding leader in many state and national professional organizations. He was a recipient of the Marvin E. Beekman Award in 1982.
In His Honor. . .
Murray Batten had a reputation for being a kind, compassionate listener, who always sought the positive in those with whom he came in contact. After his untimely death in 1983, MAISEA decided to sponsor the Murray O. Batten Humanitarian Award.
The Award. . .
This award is given to practicing ISD/ESA special education administrators who emulate the qualities of honesty, integrity, trust, and compassion that were exemplified by Murray Batten throughout his lifetime.
This special award is dedicated at a special time of the year, which is most reflective of the ideals of this compassionate and caring man. The award will be presented at the MAASE meeting scheduled in December.
Nominations for the Murray O. Batten Award are considered by the MAASE Murray O. Batten Award Committee. This committee is formed annually and is chaired by the MAASE Board of Directors ISD/ESA Representative.
Nominations for the 2021-22Award are due no later than 5:00 pm, Tuesday, November 2, 2021.
2020 Murray O. Batten Humanitarian Award Winner
Director of Special Education at Saginaw ISD
Following is an excerpt of the presentation by Katie Flynn, Board of Directors ISD/ESA Representative:
I have the honor and distinct pleasure of introducing the 2020-21 Murray O. Batten Humanitarian Award winner.
The Murray O. Batten Award was started in 1984 in honor of Murray “Bud” Batten, a former State Director of Special Education, who devoted his entire professional career to serving students with disabilities. Murray Batten had a reputation for being a kind, compassionate listener, who always sought the positive in those with whom he came in contact. Day in and day out he demonstrated the qualities of HONESTY, INTEGRITY, TRUST and COMPASSION. Qualities that recognize “who we are” as people, not simply “what we do.” In classic Murray style, the Batten Award is linked to the personal qualities of its annual recipient, not just their professional accomplishments.
Let’s start this presentation with the following information about the personal characteristics of our winner: Our award recipient’s ability to seek to understand is the foundation of who this person is both as a leader and a person. At the recipient’s core, they are strongly grounded in the belief that all children have the fundamental right to a Free and Appropriate Public Education and that all children can achieve. As a leader in the field of special education, this person is never afraid to make the right decisions on behalf of students, even when it isn’t the easiest. The recipient’s office door is always open as he encourages staff to bring forth concerns, celebrations and brainstorming along with challenging staff to push themselves within their role to become stronger providers for students.
Let’s learn a little bit about our winner’s background and involvements: This person is an outstanding advocate for individuals with exceptionalities. Having spent his entire career in a specific County, this person’s dedication and loyalty to the students and staff of the ISD runs deep. In addition to this person’s role, he has been active in service to the Mid Michigan Chapter of My Team Triumph and is a long time supporter of the Buddy Walk and Special Olympics. Professionally, this person has demonstrated continual commitment to focusing on the social equity work within the ISD. Through this work, he has not only shown vulnerability with staff, but also pushed those around him to critically think and discuss injustices that occur within our own community and beyond. His focus and dedication in this area has allowed the organization to continue to develop and progress along our own path of equity and inclusion.
Let’s learn a little bit about our winner’s leadership style: This person has spent the last 10 years of his career working to provide leadership to both local school districts and the programs operated by the Intermediate School District. Within his current position as Director of Special Education Administration and Compliance, this person serves a multitude of leadership responsibilities within the district. While on the surface, his role is focused on the work of compliance and technical assistance, he has taken initiative in a multitude of ways to increase the breadth of his responsibilities to support our staff across the district. As a result, this person has challenged himself to grow within his role to lead the district social equity initiatives, supporting local districts through an innovative approach to targeted technical assistance, leading 31N grant, assuming responsibilities for the ISD transportation and working collaboratively with regional stakeholders in the area of MTSS through the MDE Transformation Zone. As a leader amongst many special education Administrators within the ISD and the region, this person provides leadership and oversight to a department of over 370 individuals. This person has been actively involved in MAASE, CASE and CEC for many years, most recently leading the ISD team in the work of legislative advocacy through both the MAASE and CASE Legislative Summits.
Ladies and gentlemen, your 2020 Batten Award winner — the Director of Special Education Administration and Compliance at Saginaw ISD, DAVID KRANTZ!
Past Murray O. Batten Humanitarian Award Winners
2020 David Krantz
2019 Donna Jones
2017 Beth Alberti
2016 John Bretschneider
2015 Cherie Wager
2014 Eric Hoppstock
2013 Dawn Bentley
2012 Ann Walton
2011 Laurie Jefsen
2010 Janis Weckstein
2009 Randy Schantz
2008 Sharon Melko
2007 Pamela Zandt
2006 Diane Heinzelman
2005 Greg LaMore
2004 Laurie VanderPloeg
2003 Scott Hubble
2002 Wayne Buletza
2001 Mike Contat
1999 Ruggero Dozzi
1998 Jeff Siegel
1995 George Barnes
1994 Fred Chappell
1993 Jay Leach
1992 Harry Grether
1991 Marge Joslin
1990 Tom Howard
1989 Jerry Reimann
1988 Ed Birch
1987 Gene Thurber
1986 Annlee Decent
1985 Richard Baldwin
1984 John Mader