Maureen Chandler, KIPP DC: LEAP Academy, Washington, DC
Kathy Raber, KIPP Reach College Prep, Oklahoma City, OK
Joanne Hill, KIPP STAR, New York, NY
Andrew Allen, KIPP Gaston College Prep, Gaston, NC
Quinn Terry, KIPP Sunshine Peak, Denver, CO
Alexandra Nagle, TEAM Academy Middle, Newark, NJ
Loretta McBride, KIPP San Francisco Bay, San Francisco, CA
David Guyer, KIPP LA Prep, Los Angeles, CA
Brian Priehs, KIPP DC: WILL Academy, Washington, DC
Katie Kirkpatrick, KIPP KING Collegiate, San Lorenzo, CA
Kate Johnson, KIPP DC: KEY Academy, Washington, DC
What goes on in this preschool teacher’s classroom might be described as “magic.” Just by sitting in a rocking chair and reading a story, she can get a class of 20 three-year-olds so engrossed that they begin tracking her fingers every time she turns the page.
But that’s not all. Despite the nearly hour long commute to school each day, this teacher – along with her husband, son and daughter-in-law – also teaches a diverse range of Saturday School classes, from woodshop to gardening to football. As a founding teacher at her school, she has helped create a rigorous and joyful academic program from the ground up.
With more than 20 years of teaching experience, this teacher has made a profound impact on the lives of her students, colleagues, and her school.
This teacher’s passion for teaching and learning is infectious, and she is known among her peers for her dedication to her craft. She is truly the embodiment of “whatever it takes” in the classroom – meeting with groups of students tutorials on early Saturday mornings, after school, during the summer, and even on school breaks.
While serving as a member of the school’s Leadership Team, this teacher is constantly developing her own skills as an educator. Her passion for teaching and deep commitment to her students is clearly evident in their academic performance. Her students have had a 99 percent-plus pass rate on state exams for the past five years, with more than 50% scoring at the Advanced level.
This teacher’s school leader has described her as “an instructional powerhouse” and an “extraordinary anchor.” She sets the bar high for rigor, urgency and success and is considered a crucial source of guidance in strengthening the school’s foundation of excellence.
As a seventh grade math teacher, she tirelessly tracks the classroom assessment data of all of her students and has served as the unofficial Lead Math Coach for the past 2 years. She also developed and implemented her school’s first Family Math Night, where students brought their parents to watch them do fun math activities that reinforced their learning. The Family Math Night was then implemented in all other grades at the school, and has inspired the ELA teachers to organize a similar event next year based on her design.
When it comes to pursuing excellence for students, this teacher is profoundly committed. He wears many hats at his school, serving both as band teacher and as Dean of Students. He grew up 20 minutes from his school’s campus, and uniquely recognizes the challenges that many of his students, particularly the young men, face. It is this, coupled with his direct, open, and humble approach in speaking with kids and parents, that have made him an ideal administrator and teacher.
This teacher has stepped up as a resource and role model for the boys at his school, and helped co-plan events specifically for them. He has also taken an active role in molding the school culture in his role on the school’s leadership team.
This teacher is proving the possible for some of her hometown’s most disadvantaged students. As a sixth grade reading teacher and reading team chair at her school, over 60 percent of her students are still developing proficiency in the English language. But in just her first year at KIPP, 80 percent of her students met or exceeded their national norm-referenced target growth on the MAP Reading assessment. She is described as the kind of teacher “who makes students want to come to school every day, who challenges them more than anyone has challenged them before, who cares more than anyone has ever shown to care before, and who brings excitement and laughter to life and learning.”
This teacher leads her class with an upbeat tempo, and infuses her lessons with kinesthetic learning. She not only gets her students deeply invested in reaching their reading goals, but also mentors them as human beings, building their self-esteem and confidence as young scholars.
Visitors to this teacher’s fifth grade reading classroom marvel at the level of independence and creative thought her students are able to achieve. She “continues to redefine the possible, helping both students and staff realize how great of an influence and impact they can have on a daily basis.” Despite years of success, she continues to seek out professional development opportunities, and challenges both herself and her colleagues to embody what Dave Levin calls “warm demanding.”
This teacher is remarkable for her commitment to broadening student perspectives through experiential learning. She consistently creates opportunities for students to experience their classroom and character building objectives firsthand, planning trips to Wall Street and the Bronx Zoo, Thanksgiving Pot Luck luncheons, and Spelling Bees. \
With 39 years of experience under her belt, this teacher is inspirationally passionate about her life’s work. She turned the creation of a middle school orchestra into a community effort, with daily groups of volunteers – from local high school students to members of the local conservatory – coming to the school to teach music to small groups of students. This teacher holds music lessons in the morning before school, after school, and on the weekends, and for the students who struggle to read sheet music, she will even visit their homes to practice with them.
This teacher is described as “oozing kindness, grace, optimism, and patience unrivalled by anyone on her staff.” With six kids and two dozen grandchildren of her own, this teacher “is a rare being who is made of heart and giving and lives to better the lives of young people.”
This teacher makes it his personal mission to make sure that, when it comes to math, no student is left behind. He has taught a variety of grade levels – sixth grade, seventh grade, and currently eighth grade algebra. While he is determined to give his students a strong foundation in math, he never forgets that developing a trusting and caring relationship with students will also help them succeed.
Walk into this teacher’s classroom, and you might see him getting his students up and moving, inventing catchphrases on the spot, or even using his guitar to teach students songs about important formulas. His school leader says she will “never forget when the cheerleading coach told her that the entire busload of basketball players and cheerleaders were singing the quadratic formula song on the way home from a game.”
This teacher’s dedication and positivity are “quietly contagious.” In the past four years, the special education population at his school has grown leaps and bounds thanks to his leadership and expertise. In 2007, none of the school’s fifth grade special education students were proficient in math. Three years later, as eighth graders, 71% of them were proficient.
From starting an intramural basketball league for fifth graders to spending hours in IEP meetings assuring parents that their children will succeed, this teacher is an all-around leader. One of his colleagues flat-out said, “He makes me want to be better.” This extreme dedication to the mission, willingness to do whatever it takes, and a refusal to accept anything less than the absolute best for his students have made him a transformative force at KIPP.
This teacher’s school leader describes her as “tireless, meticulous, intuitive, and creative.” The Speech and Composition course she developed is a springboard for all of her kids into the world of the written word. This course has also become part of the bedrock of her school’s curriculum, influencing class discussions across disciplines.
She serves as the English department chair, developed a Journalism class, launched a student-led newspaper, and leads an Outdoors Club that arranges hikes in surrounding state parks. Next year, she will take on the role of Dean of Curriculum and Instruction.
This teacher “always says yes when it comes to student achievement.” A 10-year veteran at her school, she has taught all grades and multiple subjects—and has been responsible for striking achievement gains every time. In 2009-2010, her students’ reading scores increased, even while reading scores across the city declined.
Not only is this teacher producing results in her classroom, but she is leaving her mark on students and teachers throughout the school. She has made it her mission to support and advocate for all of her students, and has become an inspiration for students with learning difficulties or problems at home. When her fellow teachers find themselves in challenging situations, they simply ask, “What would she do?”
KIPP is committed to equal treatment for all individuals. KIPP does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, disability, age, religion, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin.
Copyright © 2013 KIPP Foundation. All rights reserved.