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Expeditionary Learning Announces First Recipient of Klingenstein Award for Teaching Excellence

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    Lauren Parent

Casco Bay High’s Susan McCray of Portland, ME. Recipient of Peer Award

(Portland, ME, February 28 2013) – Expeditionary Learning (EL), the national network of 165 EL schools, 4,000 teachers and nearly 50,000 students announced the 1st recipient of the Klingenstein Teacher Award today at their National Conference in Baltimore. The award, created by EL’s founding board chair Lee Klingenstein, recognizes one EL school teacher who most successfully has transmitted to her students the essence of the EL school culture – valuing and modeling a child’s character as well as instilling an ethic of ‘citizen scholarship’. The recipient, Susan McCray of Casco Bay High School in Portland Maine, was selected by her peers from a network of 4,000 teachers and from a list of rigorous teaching criteria including the ability to:

  • Instill in students a desire to learn, a responsibility for their own education, together with good academic results;
  • Inspire students' participation in good citizenship in its broader sense, in the classroom and in their communities;
  • Model the value of "we are crew not passengers" in their classroom and school;

Ms. McCray will be awarded a $5,000 grant and will present a Master Class at the EL National Conference in Atlanta, October 23-26, 2013.

“Our entire philosophy at EL is built on quality teaching and quality teachers like Susan who has been an EL teacher for more than 20 years,” said Scott Hartl, EL’s CEO.  “Our network of engaged teachers chose her, and there is no better candidate who exemplifies our commitment to blending character and academic rigor as the key to student success,” Hartl added. Derek Pierce, Principal of Casco Bay High School expressed pride in McCray receiving the award. “Every day, she coaches kids toward truly excellent, truly meaningful work which alters students' future trajectory, forever changing their sense of what is possible for themselves and their world,” he exclaimed.

About Expeditionary Learning (EL)
EL partners with school districts and charter boards to open new schools and transform existing schools at all levels, pre-K–12, and in all settings-urban, rural, and suburban. The EL school model challenges students to think critically and take active roles in their classrooms and communities, resulting in higher achievement and greater engagement in schools. Central to their mission of building teacher capacity, EL provides professional development, coaching, and online tools to improve curriculum design, instruction, school culture, leadership, and assessment practices. EL is currently at the forefront of creating classroom-ready Common Core State Standard curricular materials and has been awarded $3.5M in 2012, to create New York States Common Core-aligned English language arts and literacy curriculum for grades 3-8 and to deliver Common Core professional development to representatives from districts across the state. EL is also working with the authors of the Common Core State Standards to develop model secondary curriculum aligned to the standards. EL is poised to expand, bringing its blended model of academic rigor with purposeful and deeper learning for teachers and students, to scale in states and districts across the country. The EL network includes more than 160 schools, 4,000 teachers, and 45,000 students. For more info, visit www.elschools.org.