Awards honoring outstanding leadership and service to the College will be presented June 3, 2017, during Reunion Convocation. Read about the other award recipients.
Margaret L. O’Sullivan, a member of the Class of 1992, has been honored by the Bowdoin College Alumni Council with the 2017 Distinguished Educator Award.
The Distinguished Educator Award was established in 1964 to recognize outstanding achievement in education (teaching or administration) by a Bowdoin alumnus or alumna in any field and at any level of education.
O’Sullivan has focused her passion and talent for teaching innovation on providing opportunity for all students, particularly low-income students who have historically had the most obstacles to academic achievement and access to higher education.
The picture of a Bowdoin scholar-athlete, O’Sullivan, an English major and art history minor, earned a place on the dean’s list while excelling in field hockey, ice hockey, and lacrosse and receiving both the Christopher Charles Watras Memorial Women’s Ice Hockey Trophy and the Annie L. E. Dane Trophy for Outstanding Leadership.
After graduation, O’Sullivan earned both a master’s in education from Stanford University and a master’s in liberal studies from Wesleyan University before relocating to the Seattle area, where she began her distinguished career in education.
While a teacher at Foster High School in Tukwila, Washington, she was instrumental in helping the school receive a Gates Achievers Scholarship, which ensured ten years of college funding for low-income students. Later, as principal in the Federal Way Public Schools, O’Sullivan’s school received a Martin Luther King Closing the Achievement Gap award.
O’Sullivan has continued athletic endeavors as well, serving as coach, umpire, mentor, administrator, and player to provide opportunities for girls and women in sports, particularly lacrosse. She helped establish and served as president of the Washington Women’s Lacrosse Umpires Association. The number of girls’ high school lacrosse teams in Washington grew by more than 200 percent during her tenure, earning her induction into the Washington State Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2013.
O’Sullivan founded one of the first public charter schools in Washington and has served as the leader since its founding two years ago. Rainier Prep, a public middle school, serves a student population in which more than 80 percent qualify for reduced or free lunch, and more than 90 percent identify as students of color. First-year test scores show the students out-performing state and district averages and significantly out-performing schools that serve similar populations.
The Distinguished Educator Award will be presented, along with others, Saturday, June 3, 2017, during Reunion Convocation.