Indiana Charter School Teacher Announced as Finalist in 2014 National Teaching Award Competition

ARLINGTON, Va., May 8, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — National parent
organization,, today announced Hoosier Academy teacher
Alissa Smith has been selected as a national runner up in its annual American
Pioneer of Teaching award competition. 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 member Amy Threewitt.
“We congratulate Alissa Smith 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 Smith, Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy teacher Heather
McFarland, Pennsylvania Connections Academy teacher William Erler, and Texas
Virtual Academy teacher Priscilla Metting have been named as national runners
up. Georgia Cyber Academy teacher Christian Kraus was named the winner.
Information about the winner and 10 finalists is available at and its competition Facebook page.

“Virtual education provides an option for students that were not meeting their
full potential in a traditional classroom and families that want more
involvement in their child’s education. Education is very focused on
differentiation and refusing to see all students as the same; virtual schools
provide a choice for families to fit their unique needs,” said Alissa Smith. “I
am grateful for the opportunity to see my students succeed and organizations
such as that advocate for families, students and
teachers.” 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


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