January 2012 Spotlight on Success

January 25, 2012

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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.


The Preuss School UCSD has been named a MetLife Foundation-NASSP Breakthrough Schools 2012 honoree. The goal of the MetLife Foundation-NASSP Breakthrough Schools program is to identify, recognize, and showcase middle level and high schools that serve large numbers of students living in poverty and are high achieving or dramatically improving student achievement.


In December, students from the Oakland Military Institute and Oakland School for the Arts performed during the 80th Annual Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. They joined Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., First Lady Anne Gust Brown, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson during the ceremony, which was held on the West Steps of the State Capitol.


Margaret Noble and David Stahnke, teachers at High Tech High Media Arts, recently won first place in the Microsoft Partners in Learning Global Forum. They won first place in their category for having students showcase math theories in digital art projects and were among 18 winners selected in six categories from more than 115 project finalists in the global competition. More than 200,000 applications from around the world were submitted at regional events in the contest. The San Diego Union-Tribune has more.


Laura Kretschmar, a newly National Board-certified teacher who teaches math and science at Lighthouse Community Charter School in East Oakland, spoke at a White House forum about the teaching profession with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Watch a video and get details about the forum.


Hrag Hamalian was recent honored by his alma mater, Boston College, with the Alumni Awards of Excellence Gold Award. Hamalian is the founder of Valor Academy in Arleta.

The award "recognizes an outstanding Graduate of the Last Decade for excellence in a chosen profession, to a community/social cause, or to Boston College. It is intended to recognize those who are truly inspirational to others."


In the Central Valley, ACEL Vice Principal/Teacher Dr. Christine Montanez has been named to the 2011 "40 Under 40″ list by Business Street Magazine. Read more on the ACEL website.


Rocklin Academy students and teams of third- and fifth-graders earned top honors in the recent 2011 SACMATH (Sacramento Area Competitions in Mathematics) middle and elementary school contests. According to the Placer Herald: - Shaurya Grover claimed the top sixth grade student award after placing first in five sixth-grade tests, while Karina Anderson earned the top third-grade student award by placing first in the individual third-grade tests. - Fifth-grader Charley Holmes placed second among fifth-grade competitors. - Rocklin Academy's fifth-grade team, the "Numerators," claimed third place honors. They competed against 23 teams from 18 Sacramento area schools. Members of the team were Charley Holmes, Rebecca Jenkins, Hridayesh Joshi and Kristen Smyth. - The third-grade team, known as the "Mathemagicians," earned eighth place honors. Team members were Karina Andersen and Rayan Holmes.


Rocketship Mateo Sheedy Elementary School and KIPP Heartwood Academy are among twenty schools in Santa Clara County being honored this month during the Annual SJ2020 Vision Awards, a collaborative community effort to close or eliminate the achievement gap. Read more about the honorees here.

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