Teach For America Announces Recipients Of 2013 Alumni Awards For Excellence In Teaching And Social Innovation

Body

, April 23, 2013Thirteen Alumni Recognized for Outstanding Commitment to Educational Equity Through Classroom Teaching and Social Innovation

For Immediate Release

Contact: Steve Mancini
415-531-5396

NEW YORK CITY, April 23, 2012—Teach For America today announced the recipients of two awards recognizing alumni for their continued commitment to educational excellence for all students. The 2013 Teach For America Alumni Awards for Excellence in Teaching recognized eight alumni teachers in low-income communities. The 2013 Teach For America Social Innovation Award honored five alumni for their highly promising ventures to expand educational opportunity.
 
“It is with great pride that I watch our alumni continue to have a profound impact on education,” said Elisa Villanueva-Beard, co-CEO of Teach For America and a Phoenix ’98 alumna. “Whether it’s teaching in the classroom, finding ways to scale innovative and effective teaching applications to a wider range of students, or the many other ways our alumni contribute given their passions and strengths, we have a responsibility to provide all our students with the transformative educational opportunities that make all life paths accessible to them.”

Teach For America Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching applicants are required to submit a comprehensive application, including letters of recommendation from students, their parents, and staff at their schools; classroom video and observations by Teach For America staff; lesson and unit plans; essay responses; and interviews with students, colleagues, and administrators. Applicants are assessed based on their impact on educational outcomes, unwavering belief in the potential of all students, and long-term commitment to teaching as a way to combat educational inequity.

This year’s teaching award recipients will receive a $5,000 prize and an invitation to participate in an ambassadorship that includes travel abroad to study excellence and challenges in educational systems outside the United States.
 
The Teach For America Alumni Awards for Excellence in Teaching are generously underwritten by the Seedlings Foundation, with the vision of recognizing and learning from Teach For America alumni teachers; and the Amgen Foundation, which supports one award to an alumnus who has demonstrated significant impact and commitment to strengthening math and science education in underserved communities.

The Teach For America Social Innovation Award is designed to provide critical early-stage support to Teach For America alumni with bold ideas for ventures to expand educational opportunity. Teach For America received a total of 87 applications for the award’s two tracks. The pre-pilot track is designed for alumni entrepreneurs who have not yet tested the impact of
their idea, and the overall track is for alumni entrepreneurs who have demonstrated the efficacy of their idea and may have already raised some external capital.
 
In addition to three rounds of interviews, applicants submitted resumes, video pitches, executive summaries, and budgets that were reviewed by a panel of education and entrepreneurship experts from Teach For America and other organizations. This year’s five recipients will receive grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 to help launch and develop their ventures.

The Teach For America Social Innovation Award is sponsored by the Ewing Merion Kauffman Foundation, the Doris & Donald Fisher Fund, and Joyce and Larry Stupski.

2013 Alumni Awards for Excellence in Teaching Award Recipients:

Jennifer Corroy (Rio Grande Valley Corps ’04): 12th Grade English Language Arts and IB Diploma Program Teacher, IDEA Donna College Preparatory, Donna, Texas

Rob Garza (Rio Grande Valley Corps ’02): High School Audio/Visual Production Teacher, McAllen High School, McAllen, Texas

Robert Leichner (Charlotte Corps ’04): High School Math Teacher, West Mecklenburg High School, Charlotte, North Carolina

Flora Lerenman (D.C. Region Corps ’07): Early Childhood and Elementary Special Education Teacher, John Tyler Elementary School, Washington, D.C.

Kellee Ransom (Kansas City Corps ’08): Third Grade Teacher, University Academy, Kansas City, Missouri.

Ashley Riggio (Greater New Orleans-Louisiana Delta Corps ’00): High School English Language Arts Teacher, Noble Street College Prep, Chicago, Illinois

Kenneth Robinson (D.C. Region Corps ’93): Fourth Grade Teacher, Hendley Elementary School, Washington, D.C.

Erika Sass (Los Angeles Corps ’01): Elementary Technology Teacher and Literacy Specialist, Hiawatha Leadership Academy, Minneapolis, Minnesota


2013 Teach For America Social Innovation Awards Overall Track Recipients:

Kelly Amis (Los Angeles Corps ’90): Awarded $50,000 for TEACHED, a short film series documenting the causes and consequences of education inequality in America, particularly as experienced by urban students of color.

Elliot Sanchez (Greater New Orleans-Louisiana Delta Corps ’08): Awarded $50,000 for mSchool, which brings state-of-the-art math classes to students by transforming community centers and after-school programs into innovative blended-learning classrooms.

Zeke Berzoff-Cohen (Baltimore Corps ’08): Awarded $20,000 for The Intersection, a leadership-development program that develops students from underserved areas into leaders with the skills to go to and through college, to engage in civic action, and to articulate and solve challenges facing themselves and their communities.


2013 Teach For America Social Innovation Awards Pre-Pilot Track Recipients:

Elizabeth Davidson (Greater Philadelphia Corps ’06): Awarded $10,000 for ScriptEd, which brings computer-programming and software-development instruction to schools in low-income communities and teaches students the skills necessary to pursue careers in technology.

Yamilee Toussaint (New York Corps ’08): Awarded $10,000 for STEM From Dance, an after-school program that unlocks the potential in under-represented minority high school girls to become future leaders in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by exposing them to the wonders of STEM, enriching their STEM education, and using dance to equip them with the confidence and cognitive-thinking skills needed to pursue a STEM education.
 

About Teach For America
Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding individuals of all academic disciplines to commit two years to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity. Today more than 10,000 corps members are teaching in 46 urban and rural regions across the country, while nearly 28,000 alumni are working across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Teach For America
Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity. Today, 10,600 corps members are teaching in 50 urban and rural regions across the country while more than 37,000 alumni work across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Download PDF

###