For Immediate Release:
Winners of Independent Charter School Awards Announced
May 16, 2014
Contact: Sean Roberts, Executive Director
Milwaukee, WI (May 16, 2014) – Today the Milwaukee Charter School Advocates (the Advocates) shared the list of winners of its first Independent Charter School Awards.
The awards were created by the Advocates to honor high-performing teachers and high-achieving independent charter schools that are closing the achievement gap in Milwaukee. The winners were recognized at a private dinner on May 15, hosted by the Advocates. Winning teachers for the 2014 Independent Charter School Awards are:
· Elementary School Teacher of the Year: Shelley Ryan of Bruce Guadalupe Community School
· High School Teacher of the Year: Don Norwick of Veritas High School
“Our awards committee volunteers were impressed with all of the applicants but these two teachers exemplify our commitment to quality. We are proud to have them represent independent charter schools,” said Sean Roberts, Executive Director of the Advocates. “These teachers work predominantly with low-income students and students of color. They, and their students, have proven that all children can succeed with a high-quality teacher in the classroom.”
“This threw me for such a loop,” said Shelley Ryan, one of the winning teachers. “I’m such an ordinary person – that’s maybe what helps kids respond to me because I am just approachable to them.”
“I am very honored and understand how hard it was for the committee to choose one person,” said Don Norwick, the high school teacher of the year. “The award is really a symbol of the students’ success and their success is my success.”
In other award categories, the winners represent a cross-section of independent charter schools. Other 2014 Independent Charter School Award winners are:
· Elementary School of the Year: Hmong-American Peace Academy
· High School of the Year: Carmen High School of Science and Technology South Campus
· Volunteer of the Year: LaTouya Jones of Milwaukee College Prep 38th St. Campus
· Advocate of the Year: Dr. Patricia Hoben of Carmen High School of Science and Technology
“Independent charter schools achieve higher student growth than the statewide average in reading and math. It’s important to recognize the schools, teachers, and community members that demonstrate this kind of success as public schools,” said Roberts.
Independent charter schools are public schools authorized by UW-Milwaukee, the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee Public Schools. These schools are given more autonomy in exchange for accountability and operate under contracts that must be approved before being renewed. More than 15,000 students attend independent charter schools in Milwaukee. There are 37 independent charters in Milwaukee and 31 are members of the Advocates.
About the Advocates: The mission of the Advocates is to overcome or curtail the obstacles that inhibit the expansion and replication of quality independent charter schools in the City of Milwaukee and to provide quality operators with the strategies and resources needed to expand and replicate high-performing charter schools.