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Simone Snyder from Paramount Charter Academy Receives Excellence Award

National Heritage Academies (NHA) recently celebrated staff across their network of 98 schools with the 2020-21 Excellence Awards. Simone Snyder from Paramount Charter Academy was recognized as an Excellence Awards winner for Excellence in Teaching.

NHA Excellence Awards consist of: Excellence in Teaching, Administrative Excellence, and Dean of Excellence. For Excellence in Teaching, employees from across the organization are selected, including kindergarten through eighth grade, high school, specials, specialists, and paraprofessionals. Administrative Excellence recognizes a school office team, and Dean of Excellence recognizes one dean from the organization.
Finalists were chosen based on a variety of metrics, including individual performance ratings/scores, student learning results, teamwork, positive student relationships, resiliency, discretionary effort, and core values from the 2020-21 school year. In addition, a teacher needs to be recommended for the award by their principal and director of school quality.​​

“Our Excellence Awards shine a light on the unsung heroes who make a difference every day in children’s lives,” NHA CEO Brian Britton said. “From the office staff to the teachers to the deans, they all play a crucial role in being joyful touchpoints for our students. During a year that has presented many challenges, our school staff have continued to persevere and infuse passion into their work. These award winners are so deserving of this recognition, and I am proud to recognize their efforts.”

This year, 188 employees were recognized as finalists, with 13 individuals and one team who were final winners. Winners and finalists received monetary and physical awards, plus a gift card, mug, and banner.
The 2020-21 Excellence Awards winners are:

  • Lindsey Shehu at Prevail Academy (Kindergarten/Young 5s)
  • Tami Gieske at East Arbor Charter Academy (First Grade)
  • Elizabeth Veldt at Excel Charter Academy (Second Grade)
  • Vedi Ramdhanie at Riverton Street Charter School (Third Grade)
  • Danielle Manning at Alliance Academy of Cincinnati (Fourth Grade)
  • Kim Brisson at Linden Charter Academy (Fifth Grade)
  • Abby Vermeulen at South Arbor Charter Academy (Sixth Grade)
  • Christy Duncan-Robinson at Advantage Charter Academy (Seventh/Eighth Grade)
  • Samantha Lynch at Westfield Preparatory High School (High School)
  • Jeanne Laney at Matthews Charter Academy (Specials)
  • Simone Snyder at Paramount Charter Academy (Specialists)
  • Izzy Sidon at Grand River Academy (Paraprofessionals)
  • Erin Miko at Pinnacle Academy
  • Shauna Meyer and Hannah Carter at Peak Charter Academy

The Excellence Awards would not be possible without the support of our sponsors: 
  • John R. Green
  • Lexia Learning
  • PNC Bank
  • K-12 by Elior (formerly Preferred Meals)
  • Sehi Computer Products
  • Zaner-Bloser
Through their generous donations, sponsors recognize the positive impact teachers and staff have on making NHA a great place for kids to learn.
About Paramount Charter Academy
Paramount Charter Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Kalamazoo, 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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