In 2012, Teach For America launched the first annual Alumni Awards for Excellence in Teaching to honor and learn from the exemplary work and commitment of our alumni teachers.  The awards are presented annually to alumni teachers who embody our core values and are transforming students’ lives through extraordinary leadership and an unwavering belief in the potential for all children to succeed. Since that time, well over 1,000 of our approximately 10,000 alumni educators have been nominated for the award.

For 2014 we are excited to announce eight recipients.

In addition to being honored for their exemplary work, 2014 recipients will receive a monetary prize and the opportunity to participate in a year-long ambassadorship which includes professional learning provided by the National Academy of Advanced Teacher Education.

2014 Award Recipients
  • Hilah Barbot, Greater New Orleans – Louisiana Delta ‘09
    6th Grade Science
    KIPP Central City Academy, New Orleans, LA
  • Craig Brandenburg, Houston ‘01
    Algebra I, Video Production, Drumline
    YES Prep North Central, Houston, TX
  • Stephanie Hinton, South Louisiana ‘07
    8th Grade English
    KIPP Central City Academy, New Orleans, LA
  • Kathy Hollowell-Makle, D.C. Region ‘98
    Abram Simon Elementary School, Washington, DC
  • Crischelle Navalta, Rio Grande Valley, 05
    11th & 12th Grade Theory of Knowledge
    IDEA College Preparatory Donna, an IB World School, Donna, TX
  • Sara Needham Butler, Chicago ‘07
    6th Grade Special Education
    STRIVE Prep - Montbello, Denver, CO
  • Thomas Rochowicz, Bay Area ‘04
    12th Grade Civics & Economics
    Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School, New York, NY
  • Emilio Solano, Los Angeles ‘10
    7th & 8th Grade History & Ethnic Studies
    Camino Nuevo Charter Academy - Sandra Cisneros Campus, Los Angeles, CA


The Teach For America Alumni Awards for Excellence in Teaching have been very generously underwritten by the Seedlings Foundation, with the vision of recognizing and learning from our alumni teachers. In addition, the Amgen Foundation –- Teach For America’s Founding National Math & Science Partner –- will support one Award to an alumnus who has demonstrated significant impact and commitment to strengthening math and science education in underserved communities. We are grateful for the support of both of these organizations in allowing us to honor and learn from the work of our alumni in the classroom.

For more information about the award, including how and when to apply, please click here

Our kids notice when you care about them, and sometimes they find unique ways to say thank you. I have been a teacher for 13 years and I will always be a teacher because I have found joy and success in this job. I’m a better person because I’ve taught 2,000 different kids.
Craig Brandenburg, 2014 Recipient

Mr. Solano’s particular blend of validation, engagement and inclusion has transformed history for his students. They are connected to their past and, through their education, to their future in ways previously unknown to them.
Ann Caimi, Co-worker of Emilio Solano
[With Ms. Hinton] I began to speak with conviction in class and I wrote my essays with passion and enthusiasm. Ms. Hinton built our confidence; she helped us walk out of class feeling as though we could do things.
Mariah McKnight, Former student of Stephanie Hinton