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Mayor, board commend Link for winning national award

Cleveland city and school leaders honored Board Of Education Chair Denise W. Link on Tuesday for being named the nation's top urban educator by the Council of the Great City Schools.

The council, which represents 66 of the largest school systems in the United States, presented the Green-Garner Award to Link on Oct. 31 at an annual meeting in Albuquerque, N.M. The award is named for Richard R. Green, the first African-American chancellor of the New York City schools, and businessman Edward Garner, who represented school board members on the council in the 1990s and helped establish the award.

Monyka S. Price, chief of education for Mayor Frank G. Jackson, read a proclamation from the mayor during a board meeting at Whitney M. Young Leadership Academy on Harvard Avenue. Jackson commended Link for devotion to the schools and improving education in Cleveland.

District Chief Executive Officer Eric S. Gordon congratulated Link for "achieving a level of success to which board members across the nation aspire."

"It was a team effort," Link told the board and audience. "Without all of you, it wouldn't have happened."

The award is given for leadership, achievement, public confidence, professionalism and involvement. A nominating letter cited Link for, among other things, helping secure the Ohio Legislature's approval of the Cleveland Plan to transform the schools and voter passage of the district's first new operating levy in 16 years.

Link was appointed to the school board by Jackson in 2007 and has served as the board's president since 2009.

The council alternates annually between selecting an outstanding superintendent and board member. Link was a finalist for the award in 2011.