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The Office of the Governor has awarded The Old North State Award to James J. Gallagher, senior scientist emeritus at UNC’s Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. Former state Sen. Howard Lee presented the award on March 1.

The Old North State Award honors individuals who have provided exemplary service and commitment to North Carolina. Gallagher has served FPG since 1970, including a term as director, and is an internationally recognized expert on early childhood development.

“In the 40 years I have been at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center it has been my privilege to work with so many dedicated leaders, teachers and researchers striving to make a positive future for North Carolina’s children, and, in fact,  children everywhere,” said Gallagher. “I consider this award to be a reflection of those efforts.”

Gallagher played an integral role on Gov. James B. Hunt’s planning team to develop the North Carolina School for Science and Mathematics. Gallagher also was instrumental in updating state law and regulation to better serve gifted students in North Carolina. In 2009, the National Association for Gifted Children inducted Gallagher into its Legacy Series.

Prior to joining FPG, Gallagher was the first Chief of the Bureau of Education for the Handicapped in the U.S. Office of Education. He oversaw a wide range of new legislation representing the first major efforts by the federal government to help children with disabilities. Under Commissioner Jim Allen, he was promoted to Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning, Research, and Evaluation.

Among his many accomplishments, Gallagher has also produced more than 200 articles, as well as 39 books, including one of the most widely used textbooks in gifted education, co-authored with his daughter, Shelagh Gallagher.

Published March 11, 2013.