Charter School Award Finalists Announced

We are excited to announce the top three Arizona Charter Teachers, Leaders and Schools of the Year. These schools and educators highlight some of the best of what Arizona’s charter movement has to offer. The Association will announce the winners at the 2012 Arizona Charter Schools Association Annual Conference on Nov. 2. Award finalists (listed alphabetically) are:

School of the Year

Dobson Academy, 2207 N. Dobson Road in Chandler, serves 550 students in grades K-8. Dobson’s mission is to provide a high quality education that emphasizes core academic excellence. This is delivered in a nurturing partnership, where parents, students, and staff work together to form a successful educational program. Dobson Academy employs data-driven decision making in all of its decisions to ensure that students achieve high levels of academic growth.

Northland Preparatory Academy, 3300 E. Sparrow Ave. in Flagstaff, serves 598 students in grades 6-12. Northland Prep provides a coordinated, individualized program of study that promotes academic excellence and provides educational opportunities for serious students, regardless of gender, ethnic origin, economic or academic ability. School staff are always focused on working to see that all students grow and succeed from year to year, while maintaining high expectations for all students.

Phoenix Collegiate Academy, 5610 S. Central Ave. in Phoenix, serves 300 students in grades 5-9. The Academy prepares students to succeed in college and be leaders in our community, while focusing on academics and character development. The school has mandatory enrichment programs including the arts, music, and dance which students participate in for free, and a variety of voluntary activities such as book clubs and mentorship programs with ASU Barrett Honors College.

Leader of the Year —

Megan Henry is the Head of School at Arizona Virtual Academy. Henry is a true instructional leader who believes that every child can learn. Her leadership and district-wide goals provide the necessary resources and new learning opportunities for staff and students. Her insistence on professional development, clear communication among all stakeholders and the belief that “we’re all in this together,” has fostered a unified learning community.

Keri Milliken is the principal at Tri-City College Prep, 5522 Side Road in Prescott. Milliken leads by example. Her positive attitude and behavior sets the school’s tone. Staff is invested in the school because Milliken promotes a team environment and works collaboratively with the teachers to identify and assist struggling students.

Jacquelyn Power is the school leader at Akimel O’Otham Pee Posh, 3652 Blackwater School Rd. in Coolidge. Power has high expectations for all staff, teachers, students and parents and established a culture of teamwork through example. She ensures data is behind every lesson to determine how well children understand a concept. Under Power’s leadership, Akimel O’Otham Pee Posh was named the 2011 National Title I Distinguished School of the Year, the first Native American school from Arizona to receive the honor.

Teacher of the Year

Susana Clapham is a teacher at San Tan Learning Center, 1475 South Higley Road in Gilbert. Clapham is dedicated to the use of data to inform her teaching and ensure students are growing academically throughout the year. She raises the level of rigor in her classroom by recognizing the individual needs of each student. Clapham volunteers with San Tan’s parent committee events and is a non-voting member of the school board, providing an important voice for San Tan teachers.

Sheri Jordan is a teacher at BASIS Flagstaff, 1700 North Gemini Drive in Flagstaff. Jordan is a multi-talented individual with over 20 years of experience in research and teaching in neurobiology and human physiology before earning her Arizona teaching certificate. Jordan is not only a talented teacher, but she is also dedicated to the school and volunteers for lunch supervision, study hall, and parking lot duty. One of her students this year remarked, “Ms. Jordan makes the material so interesting that you don’t even realize you are learning.”

Bonnie Winters is a teacher at Tri-City College Prep High School, 5522 Side Road in Prescott. Winters stands out as an individual who is dedicated to the success of all of her students and believe there are “real world” examples for every mathematics lesson. Winters goes above and beyond her regular teaching duties by advising a math honors society, piloting a regional math competitions, and providing tutoring for students. Winters is also Tri-City’s athletic director.

The 2012 Arizona Charter Schools Annual Conference on Nov. 1-2 at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort in Chandler is the largest gathering of charter educators in the state. The Conference is expected to have 850 district and charter educators, and includes over 65 sessions focused on academic achievement. For more information about Conference, please visit: azchartersconference.com.

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