Terrel H. Bell, former U.S. secretary of education and longtime influential Utah educator, has been named a winner of the Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize sponsored by McGraw-Hill Publishing Co.

The first-time $25,000 award was presented Tuesday in New York to Bell, Helen B. Crouch and Sen. Claiborne Pell, D-R.I. The award will be given annually to people who "have made a difference in education," company representatives said.Bell was noted for his service to American education as head of the Education Department from 1981 to 1984 and particularly for his leadership that led to the "A Nation at Risk" report, which has spurred a new school reform effort to make education consistent with today's demands.

He has been U.S. commissioner for education, superintendent of Utah's public school system and Utah commissioner for higher education.

Crouch is president of Literacy Volunteers of America. Pell is being cited for his efforts in Congress to make higher education more readily available to economically disadvantaged students. More than $30 billion in federal assistance has been provided through the Pell Grant Program.