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Tennessee Charter School Center Awarded Seven Leaders through Virtual Celebration

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Charter School Center (TCSC) honored seven school and community leaders from across the state through its 2021 Charter Champion Awards program.

Each year, TCSC recognizes the notable work of public charter school leaders, teachers and advocates. TCSC presented the awards virtually on its social media channels.

TCSC presented the following awards:

School of the Year – Emerald Academy in Knoxville

Administrator of the Year — Bob Nardo with Libertas School of Memphis

Teacher of the Year — Omolola Ajayi with STAR Academy Charter School in Memphis

Advocate of the Year — Sarah Carpenter with The Memphis Lift

Community Impact Project of the Year — LEAD Public Schools in Memphis

Local and Statewide Policy Champions of the Year — Bishop Althea Green and Representative Charlie Baum

“We are thankful for the teachers, administrators and advocates that have worked tirelessly to make charter schools a place for student to receive a high-quality public education,” said Dr. Maya Bugg, CEO of the Tennessee Charter School Center. “Although in many ways it feels like we have returned to a new normal this year, educators have still had to expertly navigate the twists and turns that the pandemic has presented. This virtual event is our way of continuing to say, ‘Thank you.’”

2021 Charter Champion Award finalists included:

School of the Year — Chattanooga Preparatory School and Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering

Administrator of the Year — Angie Markum with Ivy Academy in Chattanooga and James Johnson with STAR Academy Charter School in Memphis

Teacher of the Year — Phillip Mansueto with Ivy Academy and Sarah Kim with Freedom Preparatory Academy in Memphis

Advocate of the Year — Angela Ulmer with Chattanooga Preparatory School

Community Impact Project of the Year — Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy and Compass Community Schools in Memphis

Announcement videos can be found on TCSC’s social media using the handle “tncharters” on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

ABOUT THE TENNESSEE CHARTER SCHOOL CENTER As the state's primary charter school support organization, the Tennessee Charter School Center (TCSC) is leading the movement for effective policy, excellent schools, quality operators & informed communities. We are driven by our mission to serve students and families, advocate for the conditions and resources that facilitate quality, and represent a coalition of schools that are committed to the values of equity, diversity, collaboration, integrity, and excellence we stand for. Our vision is for all students in Tennessee to have access to a high-quality public education. Learn more at