DC Public Charter School Teacher and Principal Named Finalist in Washington Post Awards

Here are the DC Public Charter School nominees for the Washington Post's Principal and Teacher of Year Awards. 

Tara Allen, a teacher at Thurgood Marshall Academy PCS, has 20 years of Mathematics Teaching experience and Instructional Systems Designer (ISD) experience. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics Education from Lincoln University, a Master’s degree in Instructional Technology from Towson University and a Master’s degree in Instructional Design for Online Learning from Capella University. She began her career in education as a middle school math teacher in Baltimore, Maryland. After teaching 3 years in a middle school, Mrs. Allen moved to teaching high school; with a transition to an instructional systems designer in conjunction with teaching mathematics at the college level, and then returning back to teaching mathematics at the high school level. She has a comprehensive mathematics teaching background, department chair leadership, instructional design abilities, combined with strong interpersonal skills and work ethics. During her tenure as mathematics department chair she has proven abilities in teambuilding and facilitating rapport with peers. With all her professional experience both as an educator and instructional designer, she has shown the ability to institute relationships with faculty, staff, students, parents and external stakeholders.

Anna Hickman is Master Teacher at Ingenuity Prep PCS She is an exemplar model of executing early childhood content knowledge and best practices, and teachers at Ingenuity Prep PCS speak highly of the benefits they gained from watching Anna effectively lead students and teachers. Anna’s commitment to the school’s mission, “to prepare our students for college and beyond as impactful civic leaders”, is evident in her intentionality with teachers. As a principal, she facilitates weekly professional development to ensure teachers are prepared to implement instructional and behavioral best practices in the delivery of their lessons. Additionally, Anna schedules weekly observations of each Pre-k teacher, and uses the data she collects to further support their individual development in bi-weekly one on one feedback meetings. As a result of her deliberate practice, PK teachers have the highest percentage of “Effective” and “Highly Effective” ratings (according to our Teaching Framework rubric), across the school.

In presenting these awards, The Post aims to encourage excellence in school leadership and to contribute to the improvement of education in the Washington metropolitan area. The Principal of the Year Award, formerly known as the Distinguished Educational Leadership Awards, was established in 1987 and seeks to honor the principal who goes beyond the daily responsibilities of their position to create an exceptional educational environment through dedicated leadership. Since 1983, the Teacher of the Year Award, formerly known as the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Awards, recognized a pre-kindergarten-12th grade teacher who ensures students receive a high-quality education through first-class and creative instruction.

Among the award winners are more than 30 principal and teacher finalists, of which 2 are DC public charter school leaders. The standout educators were chosen by their school systems for their exceptional work and unwavering commitment to students in the Washington area.


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