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News: League News

Celebrating our charter champions

Thursday, March 14, 2019  
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By Kerri Barclay


At the 2019 Colorado Charter Schools Conference earlier this month, the League celebrated a number of special contributors through its Hall of Fame awards. Our focus is on celebrating all the incredible work of the charter schools in Colorado and the champions who make it happen. What can we all take away as educators, leaders, and passionate supporters of charter schools?

First, there are hundreds and hundreds of deserving teachers, administrators, parents, advocates and school leaders who make incredible efforts each and every day for the 124,000+ students in charter schools across Colorado. A special thanks to all of you. Our movement and our impact on children’s lives (today and into the future) is far better because of what you provide through your work and dedication. 

Second, the ability for our membership community to engage by nominating and celebrating staff is incredible. There were over 100 nominations submitted this year by charter school staff/supporters with only seven total “winners.” There were 25 finalists across the award categories. The level of engagement was impressive because each nomination was of high-quality. We are so proud of the depth and breadth of our awardees. 

Third, as we celebrate the charter champions who are amongst us every day in Colorado charter schools, we want to extend our gratitude to all the presenters, keynote presenters, panelists, exhibitors, sponsors and volunteers who made the conference a success this year. The conference is a product of the quality of the community in Colorado and was on proud display this year. If you have a moment, please thank a presenter directly here.  

In several publications recently, the Charter School Hall of Fame awards and winners were noted. Click here. The League is working on finding more opportunities to celebrate all the fantastic work of charters through ongoing promotion in the media, recognition in our office space, and communication to partners. As the League grows and nurtures these awards in the coming years, we hope that you’ll join us in recognizing the admirable work of the charter sector around the state (and beyond). A special thanks to EF Tours, a League sponsor, who provided $250 travel vouchers to all the winners. Next year, be sure to look out for an earlier nomination of awardees and be prepared to advocate for those champions in new and improved ways. 

Our HOF winners include:

2019 Charter School Leader of the Year
Mary Faith Hall, Executive Director, Thomas MacLaren School - Founder

2019 Most Valuable Charter Contributor
Violeta Apodaca, Administrative Assistant, Pinnacle Charter School

2019 Charter School Leader of the Year
Jesse Hutt, School Founder, AHS Board Member, Pediatric Oncologist, Animas High School

2019 Charter School Educator of the Year 
Lauren Martinez, Special Education Teacher/Coordinator, Mountain Song Community School

2019 Charter School Authorizer
Terry Croy Lewis, Executive Director, Colorado Charter School Institute


Lifetime Achievement Award
E.D. Hirsch, Founder and Chairman, Core Knowledge Foundation


Lifetime Achievement in Advocacy
Hugh Fowler, Colorado State Senator 1968-1980

Congratulations to all the winners, finalists and nominees of this year’s Hall of Fame awards. You represent a larger, vibrant, community of educators and staff who are dedicated to children and the outcomes that quality schools can deliver to families and their communities. Thank you. 



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