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Most of us have had teachers, or at least one, that made significant impact on our lives. For our President and CEO, Stuart Ellis, that teacher was Mr. Dewey. In 2017, and in honor of Richard Dewey, we created the Dewey Awards to celebrate those teachers who were able to see in us what we perhaps couldn’t see, who saw our promise and potential, and made us believe that we could do anything we set our minds to.
This year, the awards are even more poignant for us as we continue to honor and celebrate the life of Mr. Dewey following his passing this year. We are so proud to pay homage to the positive impact he made on Stuart and surely countless other students throughout his career.
For this, our 3rd Annual Dewey Awards, we hope you can help us honor outstanding educators who are making a difference in the lives of their students—in Richard Dewey’s name.
The past two years, we asked you to send in your Stories of Inspiration and we were truly moved by the beautiful tributes to impactful educators from across the country. If you missed it last year, we asked Stuart to share what the awards mean to him and learn a bit more about what the impetus was for starting this program. Watch the video and read Stuart’s story below.
We asked Stuart Ellis, “What was the impetus for The Dewey Awards?”
Initially, last year we were celebrating our 10th anniversary at Charter School Capital and the work we’ve been doing with charter schools. The Dewey Awards came out of the inspirational teacher that changed the trajectory of my life back in third grade at Welby Way Elementary School in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Richard Dewey was my teacher and he fundamentally changed the way I thought about myself. He made me feel loved as a third grader and really made me believe that I could do anything in life.
As we approached the 10th anniversary of Charter School Capital, I began to think about the difference that a Charter School makes in a child’s life and thinking back to my own experience in public school. I realized that it’s actually about the connection with the teachers that an individual child has. And those inspirational teachers who really can see each child and student for who they are, make them feel loved, bring out that potential, and instill the belief in them that they can achieve anything. Let them know that they can simply be who they are and that that is good—don’t change, just be you.
I thought, how can we celebrate this, the impact that teachers have on each of our lives? I talked with people around the company a little bit as I told my story of my teacher, Richard Dewey. When I shared my story, everybody immediately had that one teacher. It’s not that they had 10, even though we’ve all had many, many mentors and teachers. Every adult I talked to could think back and they can see that one inspirational teacher that really changed everything for them.
It was amazing to actually hear other people’s stories just flow out when I shared mine. And I think that was the beginning of the Dewey Awards. We did it last year for the first time and it generated such an outpouring of inspirational letters from others in the community and the charter school community that as we came into this year, even though we were just doing it for our tenth anniversary, we should just do it again.”
So doing it again, we are!
Have you had a teacher who made a positive difference in your life? If so, share your story with us for the opportunity to receive one of three 2019 $1,000 grants to be awarded to a charter school of your choice! See the details below to honor your most influential teacher. #WeLoveCharterSchools
Submit your story here:
Since the company’s inception in 2006, Charter School Capital has been committed to the success of charter schools. We help schools access, leverage, and sustain the resources charter schools need to thrive, allowing them to focus on what matters most – educating students. Our depth of experience working with charter school leaders and our knowledge of how to address charter school financial and operational needs have allowed us to provide over $1.8 billion in support of 600 charter schools that have educated over 1,027,000 students across the country. For more information on how we can support your charter school, contact us. We’d love to work with you!Learn More