Georgia Charter School Teacher Wins 2014 National Teaching Award During Teacher Appreciation Week - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Georgia Charter School Teacher Wins 2014 National Teaching Award During Teacher Appreciation Week

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- Thousands of votes cast in parent-led competition to honor innovative teachers at charter, virtual, or magnet schools

- Pennsylvania, Texas, Louisiana, Indiana charter school teachers also recognized

ARLINGTON, Va., May 6, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- National parent organization,, today announced the winner of its annual American Pioneer of Teaching award competition, Georgia Cyber Academy literature teacher Christian Kraus. Now in its fifth year, the annual competition is held to recognize top performing K-12 teachers who work in nontraditional public schools, such as virtual, charter and magnet schools.

The competition, which is held as part of National Teacher Appreciation Week, allows the online community to nominate teachers and vote through Facebook to select the winner. Hundreds of teachers from charter schools across the country were nominated this year and thousands of Facebook votes were cast to select the winner and national runners up.

"The exciting growth of this year's competition demonstrates the breadth and enthusiasm of the charter school community and its support for dedicated and innovative teachers," said Board Director and 2014 Teacher Competition Chair Amy Threewitt. "We congratulate Christian Kraus, the national runners up, and the hundreds of teachers who were nominated because students and parents recognize their commitment to meeting the individualized learning needs of each and every student. As a parent of children enrolled in several different types of public charter schools, it is an honor to celebrate these teachers who make different learning environments possible."

In addition to the national winner, Pennsylvania Connections Academy teacher William (Chris) Erler, Texas Virtual Academy teacher Priscilla Metting, Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy Heather McFarland, and Hoosier Academy teacher Alissa Smith have been named as national runners up. Information about the winner and 10 finalists is available at and its competition Facebook page.

"It is truly an honor to have been chosen as this year's Pioneer in Teaching award winner.  Reflecting on what that word, "Pioneer," means-an individual breaking new ground, exploring uncharted territory, and blazing a path for future travelers-I am reminded of how the world of virtual education is particularly well-suited to engaging in the kind of revolutionary educational work necessary to be that pioneer," said Christian Kraus.  "Virtual education, itself, embodies that pioneer spirit; and the kind of teaching I've been able to do this year with Georgia Cyber Academy has been some of the most rewarding I have done in my sixteen years in teaching.  I am daily in awe of the power to reach students, where they are, and provide them the support they need to take control and ownership of their own learning.  It's just an amazing model; and, I love it!" is a national alliance of parents, students and teachers that supports and defends parents' rights to access the best public school options for their children.  The organization advocates for the growth and expansion of these schools and for policies that support open enrollment and free and equal access to these public school options for all children without restrictions.

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