Events

2018 Charter Excellence Awards

The INCS Charter Excellence Awards are an annual recognition of the best and brightest in the Illinois charter school movement. The awards celebrate the hard work, commitment, and achievements of students, educators, and advocates in the charter public school community. All recipients of the 2018 Charter Excellence Awards will be honored during a special luncheon at the Illinois Charter Schools Conference on Thursday, November 15, 2018, at Chicago’s Swissotel. Check out the 2016 awardees here.

Awards and Criteria

Below is a description and criteria for each of the six awards. There is no limit on nominations per school or per award.

Nominations are due to Matt Major at mmajor@incschools.org by September 19, 2018. Please contact him with any questions you may have.

Charter School Principal of the Year inspires teachers and students alike through their leadership and has a track record of driving exemplary student achievement in their school. He or she leads an effective, high-quality school that demonstrates innovation, best practices, and results to best serve students and families in the Illinois charter school community. He or she will be awarded $5,000 and an additional $5,000 will be donated to the winner’s school to support programming and classroom essentials. Nominees must meet the following requirements:

  • Committed to the charter school model and served the school for at least two years.
  • Must lead a highly effective, high-quality school which has demonstrated innovation and results in the charter school community in Illinois. Please list specific examples.
  • Two letters of recommendation and at least one should be written by a teacher.
  • Please include a short explanation with details of how this principal exemplifies the qualities of the Charter Principal of the Year description listed above.
  • Please include a photo of the nominee.

Elementary Charter School Teacher of the Year is committed to students and families and is always seeking to improve educational outcomes by leading and inspiring innovation in and out of the classroom This teacher should support students to be flexible and resilient while setting and achieving his or her own challenging and educational goals. He or she will be awarded $5,000 and an additional $5,000 will be donated to his or her school. Nominees must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be a K-8 teacher who has taught at your school for at least two years. Please include the number of years he or she taught at your school and grade level(s).
  • Must use professional capability and charter school autonomy to grow student performance or demonstrate other positive results with students. List specific examples.
  • Must have impacted student growth. Describe and include the tools used to measure results, if available.
  • Two letters of recommendation – at least one should be written by a student.
  • Please include a short explanation of how this teacher exemplifies the qualities of the Elementary Charter School Teacher of the Year description listed above.
  • Please include a photo of the nominee.

Charter High School Teacher of the Year – is committed to students and families and is always seeking to improve educational outcomes by leading and inspiring innovation in and out of the classroom This teacher should support students to be flexible and resilient while setting and achieving his or her own challenging and educational goals. He or she will be awarded $5,000 and an additional $5,000 will be donated to his or her school. Nominees must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be a 9-12 teacher who has taught at your school for at least two years. Please include the number of years he or she has taught at your school and grade level(s).
  • Must use professional capability and charter school autonomy to grow student performance or demonstrate other positive results with students. List specific examples.
  • Must have impacted student growth. Please describe and include the tools used to measure results, if available.
  • Two letters of recommendation – at least one should be written by a student.
  • Please include a short explanation of how this teacher exemplifies the qualities of the Charter High School Teacher of the Year description listed above.
  • Please include a photo of the nominee.

Illinois Charter School Parent Advocate is presented to one charter school parent who has demonstrated a strong commitment to the school and charter community. He or she will be awarded $500 to help continue their efforts. Nominees must meet the following requirements:

  • Must have a child who has been enrolled in an Illinois charter school for at least 3 years. If their child has attended multiple charter schools, please list all schools and the number of years they’ve been a charter school parent.
  • Must be involved with his or her charter school’s parent group.
  • Provide list of involvement and leadership in your school, community, and in parent advocacy efforts. Note any special awards or recognitions.
  • One letter of recommendation is required from the school administration or from a teacher. Please describe how this individual has demonstrated a strong commitment to their school and the charter school community.
  • Please include a photo of the nominee.

Outstanding Illinois Charter School Senior – is presented to four seniors who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement, an embodiment of their school’s mission, strong leadership qualities, and exceptional involvement in their school and community. Each student will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship. Nominees must meet the following requirements: 

  • Must graduate high school in 2019 and attend college or have other post-secondary plans in the 2019-2020 year.
  • Must be involved in student leadership positions, such as student government, programs, clubs, teams, tutoring, etc.
  • Please include a short explanation of how this student exemplifies the qualities of the Outstanding Charter School Senior listed in the previous section. List specific examples.
  • Each student is required to submit a 250-500 word essay describing how attending his/her charter school has advanced his/her success. Students should think about the following when writing the essays: How has your school helped you achieve a personal and/or academic goal? What is your school doing to create an environment where students feel inspired to learn and grow? What makes your school unique?

Outstanding Illinois Charter School Eighth Grader – two graduating eighth graders who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement, strong leadership qualities, an embodiment of their school’s mission, and exceptional involvement in their school and community. Each student will be awarded a $500 scholarship. Nominees must meet the following requirements: 

  • Must graduate from 8th grade in 2019 and attend high school in the 2019-2020 year.
  • Must be involved in student leadership positions, such as student government, programs, clubs, teams, tutoring, etc.
  • Please include a short explanation and specific examples of how this student exemplifies the qualities of the Outstanding Illinois Charter School Eighth Grader listed above.
  • Each student is required to submit a 250-500 word essay describing how attending his/her charter school has advanced his/her success. Students should think about the following when writing the essays: How has your school helped you achieve a personal and/or academic goal? What is your school doing to create an environment where students feel inspired to learn and grow? What makes your school unique?

Awards Packet and Nomination Forms