2014 Illinois Charter Schools Conference
On November 3, 2014, INCS united more than 500 charter public school stakeholders at the 2014 Illinois Charter Schools Conference in Chicago.
Focusing on our conference theme, “Our Students, Our Future: The Schools We Need Now,” it was an inspiring day for the charter community.INCS is thankful for the opportunity to have shared ideas and collaborate with you all. The only way to push the bar higher on student achievement and create the schools we need now across the state is to work together. Thank you for joining us!
Click here to review the 2014 Illinois Charter Schools Conference’s Speakers and Sessions
Carlotta Walls LaNier, civil rights advocate and member of the Little Rock Nine, captivated the audience. She shared her personal story and vision for improving the education system for all students. Ms. Walls LaNier is truly an inspiration and motivation for the charter community to continue pushing forward to improve access to quality schools for all students.
“From my perspective, charter schools are an effort to reach out to people who may not otherwise be exposed to quality education, and thus quality opportunity. As a member of the Little Rock Nine in 1957, I feel I share with you that same goal.”
“I want to congratulate you all for being warriors on the battlefield, fighting for equal education for all.”
“The way to success is through education. Knowledge is something that no one can take away.”
– Carlotta Walls LaNier
Andrew Broy, president of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools, reflected on the story of the charter school movement and the progress our public education system has made to improve access to quality education for all students. He encouraged everyone to continue to fight for students and the schools we need now with a quote from Ganhdi on the four phases of a social revolution.
“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.” – Gandhi
“When the charter movement started 20 years ago, we were largely ignored. We are now firmly in the third stage of the revolution. One trip to Springfield or one look at the headlines will tell you that. Students, their futures, and quality schools are worth the fight. And I am here to tell you that we will prevail. The stakes are too high.”
“We must continue to carry the torch lit by pioneers like Ruby and Carlotta. Because this is about Our Students. Our Future. And the Schools We Need Now.”
“Today, I challenge you to commit yourself to the spirit and ideals that were championed by leaders before us. Equal access to public schools and a quality education is the very core of the charter movement’s mission and purpose.”
– Andrew Broy
Lucille Reese, proud charter school parent since 1998 with students currently attending Noble and Chicago International Charter Schools, spoke about the power of her charter school choice and the impact it has had on her children’s lives.
Razia (Perspectives High School senior pictured left), Kiarra (Youth Connection Charter School Graduate and Harry S. Truman College Student pictured in the middle), and Sarah (Legacy Academy of Excellence 8th grade student pictured right) shared their stories about charter schools, the ability to make a change, and perseverance with the crowd.
“We need more young people, like me and my peers, joining together to stand for peace.” –Razia
“I have never seen teachers work so hard with their students until I attended Westside Holistic Leadership Academy. The school genuinely brought joy to my soul to witness teachers who weren’t just working for a paycheck. They were working for something better, a student’s future. My Future!” -Kiarra
2014 Illinois Charter Excellence Awards
The Illinois Network of Charter Schools celebrated outstanding individuals who are making a difference in public education and the charter public school movement with the 2014 Illinois Charter Excellence Awards. These honorees included high school seniors and eighth grade students who embody the missions of their charter schools, as well as exceptional teachers, school leaders, and advocates who work tirelessly every day to improve education in schools and communities across Illinois.
Illinois Charter School Champion
The Honorable Iris Martinez, Senator 20th District, Illinois General Assembly
Illinois Charter School Innovator
Allison Slade, Founder and Executive Director, Namaste Charter School
Illinois Classroom Hero
Karolyn Steele, High School English Teacher, University of Chicago Charter Schools – Woodlawn Campus
Outstanding Illinois Charter Seniors
Kevin Amoah, Noble – Muchin College Prep
Kaylynn Cusic, Young Women’s Leadership Charter School
Dana Franklin, Betty Shabazz International Charter School
Amber Johnson, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Charter School
Outstanding 8th Graders
Adrian Marin, Chicago International Charter School
Anthony White, Alain Locke Charter School
INCS Thanks the Sponsors of the 2014 Illinois Charter Schools Conference
Lake Michigan Sponsors
Awards Luncheon Sponsor
Magnificent Mile Sponsors