September 2010 Spotlight on Success

September 8, 2010

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The charter school movement is dependent upon the hard work of visionary founders, leaders, and authorizers, plus dedicated teachers and volunteers and inspired students. The Association is proud to recognize several of them this month.

San Diego Magazine recently named Mary Bixby, CEO of Charter School of San Diego, as a Woman of the Year 2010 finalist. She was selected as one of the city's most influential women in business and education. Mary earned this distinction because of her decades-long commitment to putting students' educational needs first. The results of her work, leadership and vision prove that real change can happen. To date, the Altus Network of Charter Schools has positively impacted the lives of more than 12,000 students and their families. Mary will be honored at the annual Women Who Move the City Event in mid-September.

In November, Mary will be formally inducted as a 2010 Remarkable Leaders in Education honoree. This annual award given by the University of San Diego School of Leadership and Education Services honors individuals who have made legendary contributions to the field of education in San Diego and Imperial counties.

Gateway High School received the 2010 School of the Year award from the San Francisco Education Fund. This award was granted for the herculean organizational efforts of the school's tutoring program. Like many charter schools, Gateway offers an after school tutoring service to students who require or request additional support with homework and class work. Gateway's program is larger than many schools', however: 22 parent volunteers, 40 community volunteers, 5 federal work/study students from University of San Francisco and two Gateway alums provide 5000 tutor hours to more than 300 students each school year.

Unit CA-20068 at the Academy for Academic Excellence has been selected as one of 76 units to receive the 2009-2010 Air Force Junior ROTC Distinguished Unit with Merit Award. This award recognizes Air Force Junior ROTC units that have performed above and beyond normal expectations, and that have distinguished themselves through outstanding service to their school and community while meeting the Air Force Junior ROTC mission of producing better citizens for America.

Port of Los Angeles High School (POLAHS) received a $10,000 grant from ConocoPhillips that will allow the charter campus to expand marine and environmental engineering course work. State education funding does not cover the cost of the school's specialized education programs, POLAHS officials said. ConocoPhillips has also provided scholarships to college-bound POLAHS graduates.

All Tribes Charter School's Co-Developer, Michelle Parada, has been named the 2010 Educator of the Year by the National Indian Education Association. She will be presented with the award in October at the Annual NIEA conference which is being held in San Diego. Michelle is Native American from the Rincon Reservation.

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