The awards were created in 2014 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 7, 2015 hosted by the Advocates. Winning teachers for the 2015 Independent Charter School Awards are:
· Elementary School Teacher of the Year:
Adam Gruse from Milwaukee Academy of Science
· High School Teacher of the Year:
Michelle Streed from Tenor 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. “They, and their students, have proven that all children can succeed with a high-quality teacher in the classroom.”
Elementary school teacher of the year, Gruse, said: “I am hearing about the other candidates and yes, I do a lot and put in a lot of work but we all work really hard for it. I am honored by it and I hope I can continue to make everyone proud and represent everyone in charter schools.”
High school teacher of the year, Streed, shared her reaction: “I am humbled by winning. I have my incredibly supportive staff at Seeds of Health and specifically at Tenor High School to thank. Without the supportive and affirming environment I work in I wouldn’t be the educator I am today.”
In other award categories, the winners represent a cross-section of independent charter schools. Other 2015 Independent Charter School Award winners are:
School of the Year: Milwaukee Collegiate Academy, an independent charter high school
Volunteers of the Year: Chandlar Strauss and Dani Fleming, Milwaukee College Prep
Advocate of the Year: Daniel Grego, Executive Director, TransCenter for Youth
“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 and Racine.
About the Advocates: The mission of the Advocates is to provide strategies and resources to expand and replicate high-performing independent charter schools in Milwaukee, and to overcome or curtail the obstacles that inhibit their growth.