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Chandler Woods Teacher Receives Excellence in Teaching Award

Chandler Woods Charter Academy seventh and eighth-grade teacher Kristin Downs was honored with an Excellence in Teaching Award from National Heritage Academies (NHA).
The awards were announced by National Heritage Academies President and CEO Brian Britton during a school assembly.
“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 84 schools by highlighting outstanding teachers. There are 13 categories with most having seven finalists in each. This year NHA celebrates and recognizes 102 finalists and 13 winners. Categories include each grade level, specials teachers, paraprofessionals, special education, and interventionists. The finalists were determined by a number of factors including student test scores, annual performance evaluations, and parent satisfaction data.
“I am honored to receive this award from National Heritage Academies,” said Downs. “In my 19 years at Chandler Woods, I cannot remember a day where I did not want to come to work. This school is so special, from the students, staff, parents, and community. I love the students I serve and the teachers I work alongside. There are so many teachers who deserve this honor.”
“Kristin is an outstanding teacher who engages students at a high level,” said Joe Hammond, principal. “Her dedication to Chandler Woods over the past 19 years is incredible. She works each day to make sure students not only understand the educational lessons, but know that they have the talents to achieve whatever they set their mind to. It is an honor to have Kristin at Chandler Woods.”
Chandler Woods also recognized seventh-grade teacher Katie Hesley who was named a finalist by NHA for the 2018 Excellence in Teaching Awards.
Chandler Woods 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.
About Chandler Woods Charter Academy
Chandler Woods Charter Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Belmont, Michigan, serving students in Young 5s through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

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