School Transformation Facilitator of the Year: Jessica
Perez of Carol City High School in Miami. Always
putting students' best interests at heart, Jessica is the glue of
her Diplomas Now partnership whose consistent efforts ensure that
her team is prepared and leveraged properly in and outside of the
classroom. She has a deep understanding of Diplomas Now and
shares best practices with her team and other DN schools. Her
efficient yet dynamic leadership has given her team an
ever-present voice within their school leadership and has sparked
some of the team's most innovative efforts.
English Language Arts Instructional Coach of the
Barrera of Burbank High School in San Antonio.
Laura dropped out of high school herself and that motivates her
to ensure the success of all students. Even if it means dressing
up as Captain Literacy, cape and all, on Halloween to demonstrate
the importance of literacy to students. She has worked diligently
to win the trust of teachers and worked closely with students,
staff and teachers to build a positive can-do culture. She spent
countless hours developing teacher teams and providing
professional learning. She worked closely with her Talent
Development Secondary instructional facilitator to align district
and state initiatives with the TDS curriculum to allow for a
coherent message to be communicated to language arts teachers.
Math Instructional Coach of the Year: Edd
Schneider of Burbank High School in San Antonio.
Extremely giving and always willing to lend a hand, Edd is the
anchor for Diplomas Now implementation for data, reflection and
program evaluation. His work with both teachers and students has
been instrumental in transformational change. He has helped
teachers improve through coaching and opportunities for
professional learning he has delivered. His wisdom, expertise,
and pragmatism make him an amazing person to work with and learn
from. Edd has developed such a deep level of trust with the
City Year Program Manager of the Year: Amber
Cox of Grover Washington Middle School in Philadelphia.
Amber is dedicated, fun loving, hard-working and an all-around
awesome person. Her leadership shows through her work with her
team and the relationships she has built within her school and
across Diplomas Now. Amber regularly goes above and beyond what
is asked of her to ensure that the best possible work is being
done. She is persistent and diplomatic and always supports the
needs of the school and students.
Communities In Schools Site Coordinator of the
Churbock of Capitol Middle School in East Baton Rouge.
Ashley noticed almost immediately that many girls at her school
had low self-esteem, poor coping and social skills, and anger
management issues. She was determined to help these girls
and formed "Girl Talk," an educational and counseling
group at her school, reaching more than 100 girls in the past two
years. She truly believes that every child matters and offers as
much support as possible to the students through individual
and group sessions, whole school events, and linking students and
their families to needed resources.
Middle School Principal of the Year: Keith
Anderson of Miami Edison Middle School. Keith is
extremely inclusive and values the voice of all partners -
students, the community and Diplomas Now. From the very first day
of school, he communicated his vision for the school -
"failure is not an option" - and has held everyone accountable
to it. He has firmly integrated Diplomas Now into the school and
is a strong advocate for Diplomas Now in the school and with the
district. Under his leadership, Edison has seen the highest
attendance gain of any middle school in Miami.
High School Principal of the Year: Maria
Cordova of Burbank High School in San Antonio.
Both Maria and Diplomas Now were new this year at Burbank. A
veteran principal, Maria was determined to establish a
positive culture within the building and quickly integrated the
Diplomas Now team into her vision. She is keen on professional
development and small learning communities. She has a driven
spirit and truly believes and invests her time in Diplomas Now.
After one year, Burbank has become a model Diplomas Now school.
Spirit of Collaboration: Jessica
Sasko, Chris Pellegrino and Liz Belton of Sheepshead Bay High
School in New York City. Jessica, a school
transformation facilitator, Chris, a City Year program manager,
and Liz, a CIS site coordinator, are such natural team players
that they can't imagine working any other way. Their successful
partnership has helped to boost algebra Regents scores, which
improved for the first time for ninth graders from 30 percent to
56 percent this year. Together, they've faced the additional
challenge of working in a school that is closing.
Middle School of the Year: Clinton
Middle School in Los Angeles. Clinton has
embraced Diplomas Now and after two years has achieved
- Maintaining a 97%
attendance rate through every month of the school year
- 75% of 8th graders met
culmination requirements-a 14% increase over 2012-2013
- A 28% increase in the
number of 8th graders passing the algebra end of course
High School of the Year: South High School in Columbus, Ohio. In its first year with Diplomas Now, South has
reinvented its school community, generating excitement and
passion while helping students achieve impressive outcomes. The
school's leadership, staff and Diplomas Now team is cohesive and
shares a vision and belief in all students. As a result, this
high school saw a 93% reduction in the number of students
repeating ninth grade this year.