Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Georgia Has 1 of 25 Teachers who Wins National Award for Community Outreach Named 2009 MetLife Foundation Ambassadors In Education

GE Note: Congratulations to Georgia's own Natalie Brandhorst, North Atlanta High School!

/PRNewswire/ -- Twenty five public school teachers from across the United States were recognized today by the National Civic League with the 2009 MetLife Foundation Ambassadors In Education award. The teachers were selected for their leadership in building bridges between local schools and communities and will receive $5,000 grants for their schools at local awards ceremonies.

"Effective education is a collaborative venture that depends on good teachers, as well as administrators, parents, an engaged community, and students themselves," said MetLife Foundation President and CEO Dennis White. "These teachers are leaders and innovators, who inspire students, peers, and neighbors to make schools and communities strong."

The 2009 MetLife Ambassadors In Education are:
-- Atlanta Public Schools, Natalie Brandhorst, North Atlanta High School
-- Baltimore City Public Schools, Sandra Mosley, Edmondson-Westside High
-- Boston Public Schools, Constance Borab, Boston Day & Evening Academy
-- Charlotte/Mecklenburg Public Schools, Jennie Griffith, School of
International Business and Communications Studies at Olympic
-- Chicago Public Schools, Pat Jonikaitis, Kate S. Kellogg School
-- Dallas Independent Schools, Bobby Simmons, School for the Talented and
-- Dayton Public Schools, Danya Berry, The Dayton Early College Academy
-- Denver Public Schools, Holly Wells, Martin Luther King Jr. Early
-- Des Moines Public Schools, Sallie Hedgepeth, Ruby Van Meter School
-- Detroit Public Schools, Joyce Smith, Randolph Career & Technical
-- Fort Worth Independent Schools, Dalynn Cross, Diamond Hill-Jarvis High
-- Greenville County (South Carolina) Schools, Rachel Turner, Mauldin
High School
-- Hartford Public Schools, Christine Tocionis, Richard J. Kinsella
Magnet School of Performing Arts
-- Long Beach Unified Schools, Racquel Welch-Kitchen, Hamilton Middle
-- Los Angeles Unified School District, Michael Monagan, Widney Special
Education Center
-- Minneapolis Public Schools, Caroline Hooper, Minneapolis Southwest
High School
-- New York City Public Schools, Heather Waters, Millennium Art Academy
-- Philadelphia School District, Alandra Abrams, Tilden Middle School
-- Providence Public School District, Gerri Lallo, Providence Academy of
International Studies
-- San Antonio Independent Schools, Tamara Ford, Lanier High School
-- San Francisco Bay Area, San Francisco Unified Schools, George
Cachianes, Abraham Lincoln High School
-- St. Louis Public Schools, Lucy Ryder-Duffey, Carnahan High School of
the Future
-- Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Schools, Julia Cobb Barnes, Young
Middle Magnet School
-- Tulsa Public Schools, Carol Axley, East Central High School

-- Washington, D.C., District of Columbia Public Schools, Joseph
Chisholm, Hardy Middle School

"These are some of the most gifted and dedicated teachers in the country," said National Civic League President Gloria Rubio-Cortes. "Each and every one of them tells an important story about how professional educators, parents, students, business leaders and community organizations work together to improve both their schools and their communities."

The stories told by this year's winners are as varied as the individuals and the communities they serve. They include a drum and dance ensemble to connect African and African-American students, a student community service project in Guatemala, and a distinctive service learning program that engages students with special needs with their community.

The Ambassadors In Education award was established in 2003, after MetLife's annual Survey of the American Teacher identified a growing gap between public schools and their communities. The award is designed to recognize educators whose influence can be felt beyond the classrooms and hallways thanks to their efforts to: build partnerships with community organizations, parents, and guardians; resolve conflicts and promote safety; and participate in civic engagement and community service efforts. Middle and high school educators in participating public school districts are eligible and are nominated by peers, parents, students or community members and selected by a national panel of education and civic experts.

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