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Aspire Fourth-Grade Teacher Wins top Award

Aspire Charter Academy Fourth Grade Teacher Teri Lesko was honored with an Excellence in Teaching Award from National Heritage Academies (NHA).

The award was announced by NHA President and CEO Brian Britton during a school assembly Jan. 18, 2018.

“I truly believe that teaching is one of the hardest professions and, certainly, one of the noblest,” Britton said. “Teachers don’t just perform a task; they give of themselves daily for the advancement of others. The Excellence in Teaching Award allows us to recognize our hard-working teachers and to thank them for their tireless efforts and investment into helping our students excel.

“It is my hope that all our students know how blessed they are to have such top-notch and dedicated teachers,” Britton added. “Participating in this assembly is a privilege. It is an honor to meet and thank these individuals for their dedication to their students, school community, and National Heritage Academies.”

Every year, NHA celebrates the finest educators in its system of schools by highlighting outstanding teachers in four categories: Grades K-1, Grades 2-5, Grades 6-8, and co-curricular. There are 15 finalists in each category. The finalists are determined by several factors, including student test scores, annual performance evaluations, and parent satisfaction data.

“I’m speechless,” said Lesko after the assembly surrounded by family members who came to support her. “It’s an honor to be recognized and celebrate the students’ success. I am shocked.”

Lesko has served as a teacher for 10 years at Aspire Charter Academy, with nine of them in fourth grade. She has been a teacher for 19 years and loves to make a difference in the lives of each of them.

"Brad Henry says that ‘a good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.’ This is the perfect description of Mrs. Lesko,” said ReNae Robinson, principal of Aspire Charter Academy. “ Mrs. Lesko forms strong relationships with her scholars and shows them that she cares about them daily. She sets has high expectations for her scholars and allows their data to drive her instruction. She is a mentor, leader, team player and an asset to Aspire. Simply put, she is irreplaceable!"

Aspire Charter Academy is a free public charter school serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade. NHA operates 84 schools in nine states serving more than 57,000 students.