Relive the learning from the 2019 EL Education National Conference.
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Leaders High School Teacher, Sara Boeck Batista, Receives National Teaching Award from EL Education

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    EL Education

We are proud to announce that Sara Boeck Batista, a high school teacher at Leaders High School in Brooklyn, New York, received the 2019 Klingenstein Teacher Award from EL Education.

On October 19th, Boeck Batista took to the stage at the EL Education 2019 National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia to receive the award. In accepting the honor, Boeck Batista shared inspiring words, reaffirmed her commitment to creating a better world through education, and charged the audience of more than 1,300 educators to confront biases and create classrooms that focus on social justice.

“My students have taught me just how important it is that our classrooms and our world allow them the space to make meaning of the world. We need to have the self-control to allow them to create a new world that is unfamiliar to us. To make their world a better place that can heal our planet, honor the dignity of all people, repair the harms of the past, and to break down walls between us and those in need.”

Watch Boeck Batista’s full speech here.

Made possible by the generous support of Lee Klingenstein, Founding Chair of the Board of Directors of EL Education, the award honors an outstanding member of the EL Education community and is selected by a committee of peers. Honorees exemplify the spirit and values of EL Education, receive a $5,000 prize, and an invitation to lead a Master Class at the 2020 EL Education National Conference.

In 2017, Boeck Batista led her students in a learning expedition on Interrupting Racism where students used their academic understanding of the role race and identity play in their lives to have informed conversations with each other and members of the community at large. Students interlaced their academic learning with real world incidents by obtaining training around how to be upstanders inside and outside of school.

  • Instill in students a desire to learn, take responsibility for their own education and achieve good academic results;
  • Inspire students’ participation in good citizenship in its broader sense, in the classroom and throughout the school community; and
  • Model the value of “we are crew, not passengers” in their classroom and throughout the school—a founding principle of EL Education.

EL Education proudly recognizes and congratulates all finalists for the 2019 Klingenstein Teacher Award. All finalists, who are nominated by peers, stand out for their remarkable service to their school community, as well as their persistence in passionately developing students with character who excel academically and contribute to making the world a better place. Finalists for the 2019 Klingenstein Teacher Award are:

  • Melissa Collins, John P. Freeman Optional School, Memphis, TN
  • Whitney Gaskill, Silverton Public School, Silverton, CO
  • Mona Lehl, Polaris Charter Academy, Chicago, IL
  • Greg Pierce, Palouse Prairie Charter School, Moscow, ID

The nomination cycle for the 2020 Klingenstein Award will open in March 2020.