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Gaston Teacher wins $25,000 national teaching award

The following is a press release from TNTP

Gaston, NC — Brett Noble, eleventh-grade English teacher at KIPP Pride High School, learned today he is one of four teachers nationwide to win the 2017 Fishman Prize, a $25,000 award recognizing the nation’s most effective teachers working in high-need public schools. 

The Fishman Prize is extremely selective, boasting thousands of nominations each year and nearly 800 applications in 2017. It’s also the only national award that evaluates teaching excellence through the lens of relationship building and strong academics. 

Applicants undergo a rigorous six-month selection process in which they must demonstrate quality instruction, mastery of their chosen content areas, and a commitment to creating life-changing relationships and learning experiences for all students. Along the way, they submit essays, classroom videos, samples of student work, and letters of reference. Those who advance agree to an unannounced, in-person classroom observation focused on the quality of the work their students are doing in the classroom. The nine finalists were selected for in-person interviews with an expert panel of judges in New York City. 

The other winners include: 

  • Joshua Martinez, 4th Grade Generalist, KIPP Raíces Academy, Los Angeles, CA
  • Maria Morfin, 5th Grade English, KIPP Sol Academy, East Los Angeles, CA  
  • Milton Bryant, 4th – 5th Grade Math, at Ketcham Elementary School, Washington, DC  

For Mr. Noble’s students, the journey to self-discovery begins in pre-AP American Literature class with intensive close reading during short story boot camp. Early in the school year, students begin listening to a chorus of voices in American literature, probing the nature of the American Dream. Who is included? Who is not? In time, they will learn how to translate those literary voices and techniques into their own writing. How would F. Scott Fitzgerald have written this? What could you do with a dash in this sentence? How does your own story fit in?

By the end of the year, students’ personal stories will form the foundation of a capstone writing assignment: their college application essay. This year marks the ninth consecutive time that 100 percent of KIPP Pride’s graduating class will head to the colleges of their choice—in no small part thanks to Brett’s influence on his students and the school culture at large.

This summer, the winners will come together for a six-week residency with TNTP. During this time, the winners will grapple with current issues in the teaching profession, meet with education leaders across the country, engage in the challenge of helping more teachers improve their classroom practice, and collaborate on a short paper that captures their insights as expert classroom practitioners.

Learn more about TNTP’s Fishman Prize, including past winners, finalists, and honorees here.

TNTP believes our nation’s public schools can offer all children an excellent education. A national nonprofit founded by teachers, we help school systems end educational inequality and achieve their goals for students. We work at every level of the public education system to attract and train talented teachers and school leaders, ensure rigorous and engaging classrooms, and create environments that prioritize great teaching and accelerate student learning. Since 1997, we’ve partnered with more than 200 public school districts, charter school networks and state departments of education. We have recruited or trained more than 50,000 teachers, inspired policy change through acclaimed studies such as The Widget Effect (2009) and The Mirage (2015), and launched one of the nation’s premiere awards for excellent teaching, the Fishman Prize for Superlative Classroom Practice. Today, TNTP is active in more than 30 cities.


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