20th Annual California Charter Schools Conference Presents Hart Vision Award for Charter School Teacher of the Year to Jeanne Saiza of Palisades Charter High School

March 13, 2013

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Contact: Vicki Grenz
(916) 949-9659

SAN DIEGO, California (Mar 13, 2013)--Today, the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) presented the annual Hart Vision Award to the outstanding Charter Teacher of the Year, Jeanne Saiza of Palisades Charter High School in Los Angeles.

"Charter schools in California were created to give teachers opportunities to be innovative and transformative leaders, and Jeanne Saiza brings these qualities to her work with faculty, families and students alike," said Dr. Pamela Magee, Executive Director/Principal of Palisades Charter High. "She has been voted most inspirational teacher of our school for twelve years in a row, and I am delighted that she is recognized as a statewide role model."

For more than five years, Jeanne has guided the U.S. History program that has produced measurable success - student scores on U.S. History test are the highest standardized test scores at the school overall.

"Jeanne leads by emphasizing collaborative efforts," added Magee. "Serving on countless stakeholder committees, Jeanne demonstrates her commitment to school accountability measures, using all sorts of student data to analyze and evaluate student success."

Beyond the classroom, Jeanne devotes many hours to student clubs and organizations including Junior Statesmen of America, Mock Trial and the Village Nation. "Jeanne's extra-curricular activities cultivate student innovation and motivation, providing opportunities to excel outside the traditional classroom setting," remarked Magee.

"Jeanne Saiza reflects the essence of charter schools - always asking what can be improved to engage and inspire students," noted Jed Wallace, President and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association. "Teachers like Jeanne are what led to Palisades High School being named by Newsweek as one of "America's Best High Schools."

Previous Hart Vision Teacher of the Year recipients include Kelly Sullivan Perez, from San Jacinto Valley Academy in San Jacinto (2012); Meredith Dadigan from Aspire Titan Academy in Los Angeles (2011); Danielle Diaz from Coastal Academy in Oceanside (2010); and Christina Hoppe from Granada Hills Charter High School in Los Angeles (2009).

The Hart Vision Awards were established in 1995 in honor of Gary K. Hart, retired California State Senator and former California Secretary of Education. While serving as state senator, Hart sponsored the legislation that established California charter schools. The goals of the Hart Vision Awards are to recognize and honor annually individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and excellence in education.

The California Charter Schools Conference has run annually for 20 years, offering resources, guidance, and advocacy support to a charter school movement that has grown to more than 1,000 schools serving 484,000 students.

The award was presented at the California Charter Schools Association's 20th anniversary conference held March 12-14, 2013 in San Diego. For a detailed schedule of other sessions or events, please visit http://www.charterconference.org/2013/program/.

About the California Charter Schools Association
The California Charter Schools Association is the membership and professional organization serving 1,063 charter public schools and more than 484,000 students in the state of California. The Vision of the California Charter Schools Association is to empower parents and educators to unleash a new era of innovation within public education so that highly autonomous and accountable schools of choice provide quality learning opportunities for all California students. For more information, please visit www.ccsa.org.