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2024 California Charter Schools Association Hart Vision Awards and Rachel Willis-Henry Volunteer of the Year Award Presented to Charter Public School Leaders and Advocates

March 21, 2024

Long Beach, CA – Today, the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) recognized the work and achievements of exceptional charter public schools, leaders, and advocates with the prestigious Hart Vision Award and the Rachel Willis-Henry Award for Volunteer of the Year at the 2024 California Charter Schools Conference. The awards are given annually to individuals and organizations with outstanding records of leadership and excellence in furthering California's charter public school movement. 

“I am proud to honor this year’s class of Hart Vision Award recipients and to recognize their selfless dedication to charter public school students in their communities. Their advocacy and support are embodiments of the legacy of Senator Gary K. Hart. Each of this year’s winners are remarkable and have been invaluable in helping charters reimagine education in California,” said CCSA President and CEO Myrna Castrejón.

CCSA produced a special video series featuring the exemplary charter school leaders who received the 2024 Hart Vision Award. Please click on the links to learn about those award winners. 

The recipients of the 2024 Hart Vision Awards are:

     Teacher of the Year

      Brenda Plazola, Rocketship Public Schools, San Jose

     Elected Official of the Year

      Barbara Hale, Trustee Area 7, Riverside County Board of Education

     Supporter of the Year 

      Ambassador (Retired) Frank E. Baxter

The awards were established in 1995 in honor of former California State Senator and Secretary of Education Gary K. Hart, author of the Charter Schools Act of 1992. 

CCSA also recognized Anita Turley, a volunteer at Gateway Community Charters in Sacramento,as the winner of this year’s Rachel Willis-Henry Award Volunteer of the Year award. Turley serves as both the business manager of Gateway’s Parent Faculty Organization and the secretary of the School Site Council. 

The Volunteer of the Year award is named in honor of the late Rachel Willis-Henry, who dedicated countless hours to working with public charter schools as both a volunteer and part of CCSA’s staff, and her efforts to lead charter public school families, volunteers, and staff throughout her career.


About the California Charter Schools Association

The vision of the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) is to build great public schools of joy and rigor that prepare all California students for success in college, career, community, and life. The mission of CCSA is to meet parent, educator, and community need for great public school options by supporting and advocating for high quality non-profit charter schools and sharing their success throughout California’s public schools. Learn more