Award Honors Best Practices In Public Education

Public school principals in 25 cities across the United States were today honored with the 2008 MetLife Foundation Ambassadors in Education award, distinguishing them as some of the nation’s most collaborative educators. The award is part of a National Civic League program designed to honor exceptional educators who have become national role models through community engagement activities in support of students. In honor of the achievement, all schools with an award winner will receive a $5,000 grant.

The selection comes as a result of a nationwide search involving thousands of students, parents, colleagues and community members, who nominated hundreds of educators for the Ambassador’s In Education Award.

All middle and high school principals in 25 public school districts were eligible. The 2008 winners of the MetLife Foundation Ambassadors In Education Award are:

  • Atlanta Public Schools, Dr. Andre Williams, Sammye E. Coan Middle School
  • Baltimore City Public Schools, Karl E. Perry, Renaissance Academy
  • Boston Public Schools, Margaret Maccini, Boston Day & Evening Academy
  • Charlotte/Mecklenburg Public Schools, Pamela Espinosa, McClintock Middle School
  • Chicago Public Schools, Phylis Hammond, Tilden Career Academy
  • Dallas Independent Schools, Kyle Richardson, T.C. Marsh Middle School
  • Dayton Public Schools, Czerny Buxton, Jefferson K-8 School
  • Denver Public Schools, Dr. Daniel Lutz, Denver Center for International Studies
  • Des Moines Public Schools, Spence Evans, Amos Hiatt Middle School
  • Detroit Public Schools, Linda Spight, Mumford High School
  • Fort Worth Independent Schools, Gary Braudaway, Polytechnic High School
  • Greenville County Schools (South Carolina), Dr. Brodie Bricker, Beck Academy
  • Hartford Public Schools, Pamela Totten-Alvarado, R.J. Kinsella Magnet School of the Performing Arts
  • Long Beach Unified Schools, Lew Kerns, Woodrow Wilson Classical High School
  • Los Angeles Unified Schools, Dr. Linda Calvo, Arleta High School
  • Minneapolis Public Schools, Dr. Beth Russell, Anwatin Middle School
  • New York City Public Schools, Irene Leon, Cypress Hills Community School in Brooklyn
  • Oakland Unified Schools, Jerome Gourdine, Frick Middle School
  • Philadelphia, School District of, Edward Koch, Fairhill School
  • Saint Louis Public Schools, Dr. Alice F. Roach, Carnahan High School of the Future
  • San Antonio Independent Schools, Linda Marsh, G.W. Brackenridge High School
  • San Francisco Unified Schools, Elizabeth Rood, Leadership High School
  • Tampa, School District of Hillsborough County, Robert Heilmann, Riverview High School
  • Tulsa Public Schools, Phillip Garland, Daniel Webster High School
  • Washington, D.C., District of Columbia Public Schools, Patrick Pope, Hardy Middle School

The 2008 MetLife Foundation Ambassadors In Education Award is a National Civic League program, recognizing exemplary school principals who build partnerships with community organizations, parents, and guardians, resolve conflicts and promote safety in the school and the community and promote civic engagement and community service.

“Principals play a crucial role in building family, school and community relationships to encourage successful teaching and learning,” said Sibyl Jacobson, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation. “The Ambassadors In Education Award recognizes educators who are exceptional leaders in connecting school and community.”

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In addition to the $5,000 school grants, which are intended to help continue building community networks, the educators will have their accomplishments profiled for use by schools and communities across the country. They all will be recognized at an award ceremony at their school, which will include a crystal apple to signify their special accomplishments.

“MetLife Foundation and the National Civic League started the Ambassadors In Education Award program in 2003 after the MetLife Survey of the American Teacher revealed a divide between many educators and their schools’ communities,” said National Civic League President Gloria Rubio-Cortes. “The program has now recognized 115 Ambassadors In Education with a total of more than $500,000 in grants.”

MetLife Foundation supports programs that increase opportunities for young people to succeed, give students and teachers a voice in improving education, develop partnerships between schools and communities and strengthen relationships among parents, teachers and students. The National Civic League, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization devoted to community building and strengthening democracy, administers the program. Crossbow developed and supervised the program for several years.

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