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American International College

American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts

Thank you, American International College

Spencer A. Barnard, Jr., Hon Ed.D. was honored to hold a seat on the Board of Trustees for one the country’s oldest institutions of learning, American International College (Springfield, MA).

Barnard is the Founder and Chairman of the K-12 Teachers Alliance and served as a Trustee on AIC’s Board from 2009-2015. He considered it a true honor to join such an esteemed institution. He also noted how impressed he is by the work AIC has done over the last 150 years to survive and thrive with so many competing colleges in Massachusetts.

“The tradition of academic excellence, innovative education and entrepreneurial spirit of AIC is inspirational,” Barnard said. “Through my service as a trustee, I have learned so much of the complexities of how colleges work, the political sensitivities involved, and the finances.”

For the past 10 years, Barnard’s relationship with AIC and numerous non-profit universities around the country has equipped him and his organization with the necessary knowledge and skills to work seamlessly with their college partners.

In 2009, Barnard was also honored by American International College with an honorary doctoral degree for his service to K-12 teachers in Massachusetts and throughout the country.

In his keynote address, Barnard lauded the contributions AIC has made to Massachusetts schools and educators.

“It is ironic to be honored for the impact the K-12 Teachers Alliance has had on Massachusetts teachers when the thanks really belongs to the university,” Barnard said. “We’re merely helping AIC provide its exceptional programs to our membership of K-12 educators to benefit teachers, principals and the students they serve.”

Barnard began his work in the education community after being inspired by his father, Spencer Barnard Sr., a lifelong educator. With that guidance, Barnard Jr. established his K-12 organization holistically by working with individual teachers, schools and districts to find solutions to the challenges they face.

To overcome these challenges, the K-12 Teachers Alliance provides an individual approach for each educator within their membership. KTA teachers come from public schools and private, from urban schools and rural, from California to Massachusetts. Barnard and his organization seek to help them in ways big and small thanks to their partnerships with esteemed, non-profit universities.

“Spencer’s business acumen coupled with his intense sensitivity to our academic integrity is a rare combination,” said Greg Schmutte, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. “We are happy he is on our team rather than working with our competitors.”

With the help of Barnard and KTA, AIC has methodically grown into one of the state’s largest and most respected graduate schools.

Barnard and KTA partnered with AIC in 2006. AIC president Vince Maniaci reflected on his experience working with the K-12 Teachers Alliance over the past 6 years.

It is such a pleasure to bestow this honor upon someone who sincerely cares about students – both the educators in our programs and the children in their classrooms,” Maniaci said. “I’ve come to know Spencer, both as a colleague and a friend. I expect this partnership to grow even stronger for years to come.”

In 2015, Barnard resigned his position on the Board of Trustees, to focus on his work with the K-12 Teachers Alliance in other areas, but he remains grateful for the experiences he had.

After all, Barnard was in esteemed company among AIC’s Board of Trustees. He sat among business people, philanthropists, and educators at all levels. UCONN Coach James Calhoun was a fellow trustee, as well as E. David Wilson, former president of Hasbro Games and V.P. of Governmental Affairs for Corning Inc., Timothy J. Regan, II.

As a kid who grew up playing Monopoly, I never imagined I’d be talking university business across the table from Mr. Monopoly himself,” Barnard said. “The wisdom you gather from the likes of NCAA national champion coaches and leaders of this caliber is invaluable. It was a personal privilege and a professional learning experience that provided lessons that I apply to my organization every day.”

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