August 2011 Spotlight on Success

August 25, 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.

Aspire River Oaks Charter and Animo Pat Brown were recognized recently by the California Business for Education Excellence for having demonstrated consistent high student academic achievement and making significant progress toward closing achievement gaps among their students.

ACEL Executive Director/Principal Dave Childers and board member Alice Keeler participated in the Google Teacher Academy in Seattle in late July. The two were among the 50 educators that were selected from over 4,000 applications from around the world. Following the training, both Childers and Keeler are Google Certified Teachers and are eligible to provide Google sanctioned professional development.

Retired U.S. Air Force Col. George Armstrong III, who teaches Senior Aerospace Science at the Academy for Academic Excellence, was honored by the Department of the Air Force, Air University. He was chosen for the 2011 Outstanding Air Force Junior ROTC Instructor of the Year. For more, read the Apple Valley Review article.

The school was also given a Silver Medal Ranking that placed them in the top 3 percent of schools in the nation, according to a recent U.S. News report on America's Best High Schools.

Meg Palisoc, Co-Founder and CEO of Synergy Academies, and Angella Martinez, School Leader for KIPP Los Angeles College Preparatory School, were honored by the New Leaders Council (NLC) with 40 Under 40 Leadership Awards. The 40 Under 40 Awards recognize the hard work of a diverse group of young leaders: elected officials, inspiring community organizers, and non-profit and policy leaders who exemplify the spirit of progressive political entrepreneurship. Learn more about Meg here, and about Angella here.

Connections Academy was honored with one of the United States Distance Learning Association's top awards: the "21st Century Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning" in the preK-12 category, for the quality and overall excellence of its virtual education model. The school also won ComputED Gazette's 17th Annual Best Educational Software (BESSIE) Award for top Math Website at the high school level for its Algebra 1 Course.

Western Sierra Collegiate Academy and Rocklin Academy took four "Best of the Best" in the annual Rocklin awards contest sponsored by the Placer Herald. Congratulations to Western Sierra Collegiate Academy (Best Middle School), Rocklin Academy (Best Elementary School), Robin Stout (Best Principal), and Jillayne Antoon (Best Teacher)!

Katie Kirkpatrick from KIPP King Collegiate and Loretta McBride from KIPP San Francisco Bay Academy were among 10 teachers named the 2011 Harriet Ball Excellence in Teaching Award winners out of thousands of KIPP teachers nationwide.

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