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Chicago, IL (03/16/2013)—Today at ASCD's 68th Annual Conference and Exhibit Show in Chicago, Ill., Joshua Garcia, deputy superintendent of Tacoma Public Schools in Tacoma, Wash., and Ryan Twentey, a photography teacher at Parkville High School in Parkville, Md., were announced as winners of the association’s prestigious 2013 Outstanding Young Educator Award (OYEA).
ASCD created the OYEA program in 2002 to recognize creative and committed teachers and administrators under the age of 40 who are making a difference in children’s lives. A panel of diverse education professionals selected Garcia and Twentey as the 2013 OYEA winners from a large pool of candidates nominated by educators across the globe.
The winners will each receive a $10,000 cash award and an ASCD Institutional membership. ASCD's OYEA program provides winners and a cadre of honorees with opportunities for leadership skill building, professional development, networking, and sharing best practices with one another and the ASCD community.
Joshua Garcia has dedicated his career to closing the achievement gap and serving the whole child. In his role as deputy superintendent in Federal Way Public Schools near Tacoma, Garcia prioritized the creation of a flexible learning program to meet the needs of all students by introducing International Baccalaureate and advanced placement (AP) programs at the middle and high school levels, as well as led the implementation of Web 2.0 technology tools and social media programs. To set a culture of high expectations in the school district, Garcia has also employed an "opt out" versus "opt in" strategy for AP courses, which over the course of three years has resulted in an 72 percent enrollment increase by juniors and seniors taking at least one AP class.
In addition, at Tacoma Public Schools, Garcia has created community-based partnerships with important community organizations, including the University of Washington Tacoma, Tacoma Schools Foundation, Chamber of Commerce, and Stand for Children Washington. These partnerships have helped improve student college, career, and citizenship readiness.
"Being named one of the 2013 ASCD Outstanding Young Educators is truly a humbling honor for me as an educator and human being. I believe every student should and can graduate from our schools well-prepared for higher education. Unfortunately, many of the brick walls our children face are human made," said Garcia. "Schools and community leaders must work relentlessly to dissolve these barriers and build cohesive systems that promote excellence for all. I hope that my award will give me a platform to continue my work to fulfill our pledge to provide every child the opportunity to pursue a successful life."
Ryan Twentey is a high school teacher in Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) who also displays dedication to the education of the whole child. As a photography teacher at Parkville High School, Twentey encourages his students to persevere in their artwork, and his photography and multimedia students earn an impressive 100 percent pass rate for advanced placement tests.
Twentey produces tutorials that enable students to learn at their own pace. These tutorials are tailored to each student’s needs, and Twentey helps draw clear correlations between the work in the classroom and how learning will translate into careers in the real world. Twentey creates a safe classroom where students can grow together by providing feedback and critiques in a supportive environment.
Beyond the classroom, Twentey has worked on several special projects for the BCPS system, contributing to the creation of the interactive media production, photography, digital media design, and mass communications curricula. He has also worked with the Community College of Baltimore County to ensure that BCPS students are prepared for portfolio reviews that will earn them college credit for their high school programs.
"I am unbelievably honored and appreciative to receive the Outstanding Young Educator Award. I am humbled to be recognized for what I enjoy most about teaching: empowering my students with skills to succeed. I build relationships with my students to create an environment of support, so that through our experiences and triumphs, we all develop, progress, and master knowledge, techniques, and communication so we may engage and conquer any challenges that arise along the way," said Twentey.
"Both of the educators selected for the award this year make incredible contributions to their school systems and their local communities," said Dr. Gene R. Carter, executive director and CEO of ASCD. "Josh and Ryan shine as examples of how an educator's commitment to student success can produce results not only for students but for the entire school district. On behalf of ASCD, I congratulate both winners of the 2013 OYEA program and wish them long and rich careers."
To learn more about ASCD and the benefits associated with becoming an ASCD member, visit www.ascd.org.
Katie Test, communications specialist, 1-703-575-5608 or by e-mail.
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