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Education Lab Blog

Education Lab is a project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

March 5, 2014 at 5:00 AM

In the category of Best Education Efforts, the winners are….

The World Language Credit Program was one of two efforts receiving top honors at Tuesday's awards ceremony. Photo courtesy Kariba Photography.

The World Language Credit Program was one of two efforts receiving top honors at Tuesday’s awards ceremony. Photo courtesy Kariba Photography.

The Seattle-area winners in a first-ever education awards ceremony held Tuesday are:

But wait — first a word on the contest and the 21 finalists, chosen by a panel of local and national education experts.  (And please note there was a second awards ceremony Tuesday night, too, honoring the Seattle-area’s Global Educator of the Year, and we’ll reveal that winner by the end of this post, too.)

The first contest was sponsored by the Road Map Project, a consortium of school districts, cities, community organizations, higher education institutions, early learning providers, businesses and others working together to improve public education in south Seattle and South King County. On Tuesday evening, that group held a black-tie optional gala at the Museum of Flight to honor efforts in their region that are raising student academic achievement.

Like Academy Awards Host Ellen DeGeneres, we would have to serve pizza to fortify the audience if we listed every finalist. But you can find them at

So on to the winners.

In the Collective Impact category, (cue drum roll) two programs received top honors:

— “Building a system to close gaps and support young learners” – Auburn School District and Partners

 This award goes to a five-year-old partnership between Auburn’s school district and the city’s early-learning providers that has narrowed the achievement gap in third-grade reading for students who are learning English or whose families are poor.

—  World Language Credit Program: “Building a system for crediting bilingual high school students” – School District Partners and Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Through this program, students who speak more than one language can develop or maintain literacy in that language and earn high-school credit for it. By the end of this school year, according to Road Map, 880 high school students in the Road Map region will have earned between one and four credits by passing a competency test for their skill in any one of about 40 languages.

The judges also gave seven Special Recognition Awards to:

 Parent-Child Home Program: “Visiting hard-to-reach families at home to help 2-4 year olds get off to a good start” – United Way of King County and Partners

— Seattle Early Education Collaborative: “Working to ensure success in kindergarten” – Early Learning Partners and City of Seattle

 Parent Academy for Student Achievement: “Empowering parents to navigate school systems and influence student success” – Kent School District

— Diplomas Now: “Creating a school-community partnership to benefit middle school students” – City Year Seattle, Johns Hopkins University, Communities in Schools of Seattle, Aki Kurose Middle School

— “Building a system of authentic family engagement” – Federal Way Public Schools

— “Creating opportunity by accelerating academics and removing barriers to college” – Federal Way Public Schools

 “Making college admission and graduation possible” – College Access Now and School Partners

Finally, as promised, the results from the second awards ceremony, held by the World Affairs Council at Town Hall:


Noah Zeichner

This year’s World Educator of the Year (another drum roll, please) is: Noah Zeichner, honored for his work as a teacher at Seattle’s Sealth High.

Zeichner teaches a Global Leadership class in which students study contemporary global problems, then develop lessons for fourth-graders at a nearby elementary school.  He also co-founded a local ideas festival called World Water Week, and is a Teachers for Global Classrooms Fellow in a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, and a lead teacher for the Global Visionaries program.

Congratulations to all.

Comments | More in News | Topics: Auburn School District, Noah Zeichner, Road Map Project


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