June 2011 Spotlight on Success

June 27, 2011

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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.

Three of Oakland Military Institute's teachers recently were recently announced as 2010 National Board Certified teachers. Johnna Grell (English Language Arts/Early Adolescence), Alicia Koster (World Languages Other than English/Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood), and Rachel Mahlke (English Language Arts/Early Adolescence) are now part of an elite force of only 3% of America's teachers who have earned this prestigious honor. There are slightly more than 91,000 National Board certified teachers nationwide, and fewer than 5,000 in California.

The Silicon Valley Community Foundation awarded Rocklin Academy a three year grant to support the growth of enrollment at Western Sierra Collegiate Academy. To assist in the growth of high quality schools like Western Sierra Collegiate Academy and Rocklin Academy, the Foundation will provide a onetime grant of $1,000 for each increase in student enrollment each year for the next three years. This funding will be used to help offset the state budget reductions and fund start up costs for these new students.

Sonoma Charter School received a $1,000 Harvest Grant Grand Prize from Welch's Harvest Grant competition. The school was one of only five in the nation to win the Grant Prize; nearly 7,000 teachers submitted an application for a Welch's Harvest Grant this year.

CCSA Board Member Johnathan Williams was honored for his contributions as a pioneer of public education. In 1994, Williams co-founded The Accelerated School, a charter that provides inner city students with an unparalleled experience in a seamless intensive learning environment. In addition to his service on the CCSA Board, Williams is serving his second term on California's State Board of Education. Read more about the honor.

Jessica Davis, a science teacher at the Film and Theatre Arts Charter High School, was awarded the Amgen Award for Science Teaching Excellence for her innovative teaching methods. She received a $5,000 grant and an additional $5,000 was given to her school. Davis was the subject of a KABC news story.

John Madrid, CCSA Regional Director for the Central Valley, was recognized with an Advancing the Common Good in Education Award during the United Way of Fresno County's Community Partner Appreciation Awards.

Northcoast Prep and Performing Arts Academy in Arcata has been named one of the top 20 schools in the country by the Washington Post. The Post's "High School Challenge" identifies public high schools across the nation effectively preparing students for college. In addition to a national list, the High School Challenge also included lists of schools by state; in California, the top 20 schools included six charters: Northcoast Prep and Performing Arts Academy, Preuss School UCSD (San Diego), University (Fresno), American Indian Public Charter (Oakland), Summit Prep (Redwood City), and Magnolia Science Academy (Reseda). View the full list of California schools here.

The fifth-grade team of Patrick Montgomery, Alina Lara, Neil Collison and Wyatt Meyer at Santa Ynez Valley Charter School won the North County Math Superbowl, competing against 25 other schools. Read more in the Santa Ynez Valley News.

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