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Chandler Woods Teacher Named Semifinalist in Regional Accolade Honoring Charter School Educators

Ms. Aletha VanValkenburg, second-grade teacher at Chandler Woods Charter Academy, was recently named a semifinalist in MAPSA’s annual MI Charter School Awards. She was honored to be nominated among hundreds of teachers across the state.
 
VanValkenburg shared how honored she felt upon learning about her nomination; "It means so much that someone cares about you enough, to take the time to nominate you," she said.
 
VanValkenburg is well known for her love of children's literature and sharing that with her students. "Aletha is up to date on the newest book to a series, knows characters in many books, and can skillfully match a student with a book to enjoy," said Georgiana Varlan, dean of lower elementary at Chandler Woods. "Aletha cares for her students and families."
 

Every year, MAPSA’s Charter School Awards provide a platform to highlight outstanding educators in Michigan's charter schools. There are nearly 300 charter schools across Michigan, with more than 10,000 teachers and hundreds of nominations were received for this year’s awards from all over the state.
 
“Michigan’s charter schools have some of the most innovative, creative and talented educators in the country, and we’ve seen that come to light even more in the past few weeks,” said Dan Quisenberry, MAPSA president. “These individuals represent the best of the best, and they’re continuing to work every day to engage, inspire, and educate their students. We’re so proud to be able to honor them and shine a spotlight on their accomplishments.”
 
Two additional individuals from National Heritage Academies (NHA) were also recognized as nominees in the awards. Ms. Shelli Wildfong, principal at Metro Charter Academy, was named a 2020 MI Charter School Administrator of the Year award semifinalist, and Ms. Ashley Benson, first-grade teacher at Achieve Charter Academy, has been named a finalist and is now in the running to be recognized as the 2020 Michigan Charter School Teacher of the Year.
 
To be considered for this recognition, MAPSA receives anonymous nominations from parents, teachers, school leaders, and community members to recognize those who are going above and beyond.
 
Congratulations Ms. VanValkenburg!