Washington, D.C. — The principal of E.L. Haynes Public Charter School’s Lower School Campus, Michelle Molitor and Capital City Public Charter School High School Lead Social Studies teacher, Julian Hipkins, III are the 2012 winners of the Washington Post’s Distinguished Educational Leadership Award and the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award in the charter school category. This award recognizes school leaders and teachers who exemplify excellence in their profession. Ms. Molitor sees winning the award as a group effort. “I’m really excited about receiving the award, mostly for my school. Winning the award is really a reflection of my school’s entire community,” said Molitor. She said that the heavy lifting happens in the classrooms every single day by teachers, staff and students.
As a founding staff member of E.L. Haynes Public Charter School, Molitor has seen the development of the eight year old school. Molitor, who decided to pursue a career in education while in high school, previously served as director of year-round programs and Assistant Principal of E.L. Haynes. Engaging the school community and ensuring that staff and students feel engaged in the school is an integral part of Molitor’s leadership. “Making sure that everyone feels the same investment in the school’s mission and vision is key.” Molitor said.
Mr. Hipkins described winning the Agnes Mayer Outstanding Teacher Award as a humbling experience. “As a person who grew up in the DC area, seeing my name in the Washington Post as an Agnes Meyer Award winner was humbling,” said Hipkins. “It’s been an honor to know that some of the things I’ve done as a teacher have made an impact on my students and colleagues,” Hikpins said.
Mr. Hipkins currently teaches 11th grade social studies. Before that he taught English in Japan for nearly eight years and decided to teach in the United States because he felt inspired to help American students become global citizens. “Americans need to be taught more about the world in which they live. I focus on global citizenship and critical thinking in my teaching and this is why I wanted to teach in the US at the high school level,” said Hipkins. “I couldn’t do what I do without the help of my principal and school community.”
Closing the achievement gap of students is also a driving motivator for both Molitor and Hikpins. Molitor says she would love to be remembered as a school leader that stood up for justice and opportunity for all students. “I will continue throughout my career to work for providing equity among all students. Education is the civil rights issue of our generation,” said Molitor. Hipkins echoed a similar tone, “I cannot stop until the achievement gap for African American males no longer exists,” he said. The award ceremony for the Distinguished Education Leader Award took place on May 8th at the Washington Post and the award ceremony for the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award will take place on May 15th.
The Washington Post Company Educational Foundation calls for nominations from the charter school community and other school jurisdictions on an annual basis. The Distinguished Educational Leadership Award and the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award is given to principals and teachers in 20 school systems in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Each winner will each receive a stipend award and receive recognition at a ceremony at the Washington Post.
The D.C. Public Charter School Board currently oversees 53 public charter schools on 98 campuses serving nearly 32,000 students living in every ward of the city. Seventy-five percent of the students attending public charter schools qualify for free or reduced price meals. Public charter schools serve 41% of all public school students in Washington, D.C. Learn more about the PCSB at www.dcpubliccharter.com
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