At the gathering of principals and other school leaders where the award was announced, Mr. Fernandez explained the philosophy of collaboration and teacher development that garnered him and his school the prize. He praised his staff, and he called the reflective process and sharing among them "empowering."
Rose Kerr, previous Rohatyn winner, presented the award to Dr. Fernandez, singling out as an "exemplary practice" the educators’ portfolios instituted at the school. "We need to assess ourselves, professionally and pedagogically,to be truly effective," she said.
The Rohatyn award is the culmination of a months-long winnowing process, with open nominations, a public vote to select five finalists, and then a winner chosen by a panel of independent judges. This year, those judges included:
Fred Frelow, Program Officer, The Ford Foundation
GeoffreyGund, teacher at the Dalton School
Rose Kerr, NYC principal and 2012 Rohatyn Prize winner
Chad Vignola, Founding Director, the Literacy Design Collaborative
Pedro Silverio, former NYC student.
The Principals’ Forum also included a rousing speech by Professor Pedro Noguera, who addressed "Why Some Schools Make More Progress than Others – And What is the Principal's Role in Making Progress Stick."
There is no question that Teaching Matters. For this reason, we are awarding the third annual Elizabeth Rohatyn Prize to a school leader who is advancing teacher capacity and effectiveness.
The winner of the Elizabeth Rohatyn Prize will receive a one-time award of $15,000 to support or further an innovative school learning environment, program or practice that has the potential to be replicated by other schools. The award may be applied to human resources; staffing; consultants; release and/or common planning time; software; hardware; and other materials.
Principals are eligible for nomination as representatives of their publicly-funded K-12 schools. Schools in the New York metropolitan area (within a 100 mile radius of New York City) may apply. Principals may apply on their own behalf or be nominated by another educator or parent. Since this is a one-time award, Elizabeth Rohatyn Prize winners from previous years are not eligible. However, we encourage former applicants who meet program criteria to resubmit for consideration.
The Prize was be awarded at the Teaching Matters Annual Forum for Principals on August 28th, 2013.
Serapha Cruz, The Bronx School of Young Leaders. (Bronx, NY)
To attract and retain high-quality teacher candidates, this school developed an action plan based on the Danielson Framework. The plan was developed in collaboration with Fordham University, and includes revising schedules to increase time for collaboration; compensation for grade team leaders to meet; and dedicated time for looking at student work.
Sonhando Estwick,Tompkins Square Middle School. (Manhattan, NY)
This school has a model of distributed leadership that includes a transparent and shared decision-making process used by staff committees. The school recently introduced one-to-one academic coaching. All teachers have taken on the role of academic coach, bringing a new dimension of teacher capacity building and effectiveness to TSMS.
Salvador Fernandez, JHS 52 Inwood. (Manhattan, NY)
The initiative aims to develop teachers as reflective practitioners, leaders and collaborative colleagues through a series of supports and structures. Teachers conduct inter-class visitations, using a set of rubrics that set high expectations. In addition, teachers develop a professional portfolio, in which they reflect, set goals and establish next steps.
Doris Lee, Village Academy, Q319. Far Rockaway. (Queens, NY)
The "Path to Success" teacher effectiveness initiative promotes teacher learning grounded in feedback and looking at student work and progress using baseline, interim and culminating tasks and other non-standardized results. Professional development costs are decreased because much of the PD is built in; outside PD is targeted to specific teacher needs instead of an entire school.
Laura Scott, PS 10 The Magnet School for Math, Science and Design. (Brooklyn, NY)
This initiative supports sharing of Common Core data and resources among teachers using ipads and Google apps. The school would like to offer identified instructional staff the ability to use technology seamlessly to conduct and review paperless assessments, track student progress, utilize data to inform instruction, and align curriculum with the Common Core.
Submissions must demonstrate exemplary practice in attracting, growing or retaining great teachers. Examples may include but are not limited to:
Teacher Recruiting, Teacher Leadership, Data Use and Collaborative Inquiry, Smart Retention, and Observation and Feedback.
Submissions will be judged by a Prize Committee comprised of educational innovators and practitioners using the criteria that follow. To view the complete rubric please click here.
- Supportive of Learning - The initiative benefits student learning outcomes.
- Expectations for Effective Teaching – The initiative promotes a culture of clear and shared high expectations for instructional practice and student outcomes.
- Promotes Professional Growth – The initiative promotes professional growth and recognizes excellence.
- Cost Effectiveness - The initiative contains costs without seriously compromising its integrity.
- Sustainability - The initiative is supported by and supportive of a critical school improvement priority. The innovation has the potential to scale to other parts of the school.
- Replicability - The initiative can be replicated in other schools with a minimum of difficulty.
The Elizabeth Rohatyn Prize Winner is selected by a multi-step process that includes:
- Completion of a nomination/qualifying online application by either nominee or nominating colleague or parent
- Submission of a full application by nominee
- Final selection determined by a vote representing the prize committee and the public.
As part of the voting process, finalists are required to share their initiatives online with the educational community.
About The Rohatyn Prize
The Rohatyn Prize is underwritten by The Elizabeth Rohatyn Innovation Fund. Mrs. Rohatyn is a champion of innovation and education. Driven by the belief that teachers are the most important school-related factor in raising student achievement, Mrs. Rohatyn joined forces with former teachers, principals and technology experts and founded Teaching Matters in 1994.
2012 Winner: Staten Island School of Civic Leadership (R861), Staten Island, NY
The Triad Model is a teacher effectiveness initiative that puts three teachers in charge of comprehensive instruction for two classrooms. This allows the team of teachers to own responsibility for everything from analyzing student performance data and developing interventions, to scheduling. The initiative elevates teacher teaming to a whole new level. During her acceptance speech, principal Kerr explained the powerful effects of the Triad Model. She emphasized that it didn't necessitate additional funding to implement but simply required reorganizing existing resources. "Ask any child in our building who their teacher is and it becomes plainly obvious they have not one, but three teachers accountable for their continued success," said Ms. Kerr.
2011 Winner: West Side Collaborative (MS250), Manhattan, NYC
The Westside Collaborative/MS250 is an innovative middle school located in Manhattan. We aim to foster teacher effectiveness through the expansion of our online collaborative community. We are pleased to highlight our innovative online structure which fosters staff ability to differentiate for students, share resources and lessons, collaborate without the time constraints of meeting face-to-face, track progress, communicate our teacher-leader initiatives and use assessment strategically. The effectiveness of our staffs’ use of these tools is evidence of how ingrained the collaborative structure is at our school where 75% of our staff is in teacher leader roles. Our schedule and differentiated staff roles promote the sharing of best practices in a culture of continual learning. This online collaboration system increases the ways our staff shares and makes that sharing transparent. The Elizabeth Rohatyn Prize will allow us to further our our professional learning community. We will purchase an ipad for all teachers to enable an efficient use of email, web collaboration & access to online PD, allowing them to keep their dedicated tool with them as they travel between their shared classrooms, thus extending their ability to collaborate beyond the school day. We would also use the funds to increase PD opportunities.