SOURCE: California Charter Schools Association

March 27, 2007 17:52 ET

Innovative Los Angeles Teacher Named "Charter School Teacher of the Year"

Second Grade Teacher Honored at 14th Annual California Charter Schools Conference

SAN DIEGO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 27, 2007 -- The California Charter Schools Association today recognized Jennifer Epps as "Charter School Teacher of the Year" annual Hart Vision Award recipient. Epps, a second grade teacher at Synergy Charter Academy in Los Angeles, was presented with the award at this year's 14th Annual California Charter Schools Conference in San Diego.

"As an educator, Jennifer has mastered how to teach multiple subjects to her students, even with the obstacles her students face," said Caprice Young, president and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association. "She implements learning experiences that meet her diverse students' needs both inside and outside of the classroom, making her our choice for 'Charter School Teacher of the Year.'"

Last year, 90 percent of her students scored proficient or advanced in reading and math on state-standardized tests and she continues to focus on ways she can help her individual students succeed in the classroom. Epps serves a number of leadership roles for Synergy -- Teacher Representative on the school's Board of Directors, Chair of the school's English Learner Advisory Committee, and is a trained Support Provider who provides one-on-one coaching to new Synergy teachers via the Los Angeles Unified School District's Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) Program.

Epps has found that she can make a big difference in her students' lives when she is provided the flexibility to put initiatives to work.

"If you treat students, parents and teachers with fairness, they will respect what you have to offer in the classroom," stated Epps. "We have to embrace the diversity that we are offered and take advantage of the different viewpoints that we all hold. If we all share, we all will succeed."

This current school year, Epps initiated a Peer Tutoring Program when she noticed that many of her students were struggling with reading early on in the school year. Epps volunteered her time to recruit and train the Peer Tutors from Synergy's upper-grade students to work with younger Synergy students in Grades K-2, and she supervises the students during the Peer Tutoring time.

Established in 1995, the Hart Vision Awards were created in honor of retired California Senator and former California Secretary of Education Gary Hart. During his tenure as state legislator, Hart authored California's charter school legislation. For this reason, the California Charter Schools Association honors his legacy by presenting annual awards to charter school teachers, leaders, administrators and supporters for their contributions to educational reform and improved student achievement. Since its inception, the Association has presented more than 40 Hart Vision Awards to California charter schools.

About the California Charter Schools Association

The California Charter Schools Association is California's premier charter school membership organization and is the public voice for California's 618 charter schools that currently serve 220,000 students. The Association's mission is to improve student achievement by strengthening and expanding high-quality charter public schools throughout California.

Contact Information

    Gary Larson
    Vice President of Communications
    California Charter Schools Association
    (415) 722-0127