September 2011 Spotlight on Success

September 26, 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.

Assembly Member Wilma Amina Carter presented a copy of her California Assembly Bill 57 (ACR 57) to students and staff of SIATech High School in San Bernardino. ACR honors the pupils who have overcome significant personal challenges to reengage in high school and become transformed learners who will continue to pursue education to prepare for college and career in their futures. Among its provisions, ACR 57 also provides that the Legislature intends to encourage the support of dropout recovery high schools with creative teaching strategies, alternative assessments, and adequate resources.

Laura Galván of Huntington Park College-Ready Academy High School was named Alliance Principal of the Year 2011. Laura has more than 13 years of teaching and administrative leadership experience, as well as a history of achieving successful student outcomes with English language learners.

Alliance College-Ready Public Schools is an independent non-profit charter management organization that has grown to 20 high performance small public high schools and middle schools created in Los Angeles between 2004 to 2011.

The Doris Fisher KIPPster of the Year (KOTY) Award is an annual college scholarship award given to up to six eighth-grade students from KIPP schools across the country. With the KOTY award, KIPP nationally recognizes students that set a superlative bar for what it means to be a KIPPster. Recipients are selected for demonstrated personal and academic excellence and impact on their communities, schools and peers through exceptional practices of leadership and character. This year Vive, a student at KIPP LA College Prep, was one of only six award recipients.

Three California teachers, David Guyer of KIPP LA Prep, Katie Kirkpatrick of KIPP KING Collegiate, and Loretta McBride of KIPP San Francisco, received the 2011 Harritt Ball Excellence in Teaching Award. Each received $10,000 from the KIPP Foundation as part of the award recognition. The selected teachers have a proven track record for improving student achievement, inspiring other teachers, and displaying passion and commitment to their schools and to the KIPP mission in helping all students climb the mountain to college.

The Aspen Institute and NewSchools Venture Fund recently announced the selection of the fourth cohort of the prestigious Entrepreneurial Leaders for Public Education Fellowship Program. As entrepreneurial change agents, these leaders bring a sense of urgency, an action orientation, and a dedication to transforming public education so that it serves all students well. This year's Fellows includes two CCSA Board Members: Chris Nelson, managing director of the Doris & Donald Fisher Fund, and Ana Ponce, chief executive officer of Camino Nuevo Charter Academy. For more information, read the press release.

SIATech, an award-winning network of charter schools focused on dropout recovery, recently recognized its employees of the year for California. Congratulations to the following, who were nominated by their peers and chosen by committee: Linda White and Georgiana Rodriguez (Administrative Office), Esmeralda Lopez (El Centro), Gerald Hagen (Inland Empire), Jose Estrada (Long Beach), Joe Frommer (Los Angeles), Shawn Steck (Sacramento NEWCorp), Megan Nayebkhel (SIATech Sacramento), Maya Gestova (San Diego), Laura Van Swearingen (San Jose), and Georgina Bowers (Treasure Island).

Congratulations to the California charter school supporters who are a part of The Broad Residency Class of 2011-2013: Adam Lurie and Zachary Levine of Green Dot Schools, Tracy Hanna of KIPP Bay Area, and Carolyn Davies of Rocketship Education.

The Broad Residency is a leadership development program that places participants into full-time high-level managerial positions in school districts, CMOs, and federal/state departments of education. Working from inside the system, Residents are well-positioned to identify, catalyze and lead the transformation required to ensure that every American child receives a world-class education.

Gap Inc. founders and philanthropists Doris and Donald Fisher( were inducted into the California Hall of Fame. Don served CCSA as a founding board member in 2003, and the Doris and Donald Fisher Fund was recognized by our Association and members in 2007 as Charter School Supporter of the Year.

The Hall of Fame was established in 2006 to honor legendary people who embody California's innovative spirit and have made their mark on history. According to induction materials, the Fishers "became champions of public school reform organizations, including Teach For America. One of their most inspirational projects is growing KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) schools, a unique network of free, college-preparatory schools that now reaches over 32,000 low-income children."

California Hall of Fame inductees come from all walks of life and are people who have made distinguished achievements across many fields, including the arts, education, business and labor, science, sports, philanthropy and public service.

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