Charter Excellence Awards

INCS Charter Excellence Awards

The 2021 INCS Charter Excellence Awards are here! At INCS and in the charter community, we value excellence and are excited to reward and acknowledge teachers, principals, students, and parents who exhibit this value. Charter schools are part of the fabric of the communities they serve. During the pandemic, educators went above and beyond to serve their families and neighborhoods.


About the Charter Excellence Awards

The annual INCS Charter Excellence Awards recognizes the outstanding achievements of educators, parents, students, and advocates across Illinois’ charter public schools. With the generous support from Invest for Kids, INCS offers financial awards in the following categories:

  • Charter Principal of the Year – $10,000
  • Charter Elementary Teacher of the Year – $10,000
  • Charter High School Teacher of the Year – $10,000
  • Charter School Parent Advocate of the Year – $500
  • Outstanding Illinois Charter School Senior – four seniors will be selected to win a $1,000 scholarship each.
  • Outstanding Illinois Charter School Eighth Grader – two eighth graders will be selected to earn a $500 scholarship each.

We will also recognize an individual who has served the community over many years with the INCS Charter Lifetime Achievement Award

We are thrilled to be honoring these amazing individuals Monday, December 6 at

Chicago’s Royal Sonesta Hotel from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, and we hope you will join us for the awards reception.

**Please register here.

*Masks and vaccinations are required.

Once you register at the Event Brite, you will receive an email with directions on how to submit your vax card; on the day of the event, you will receive a link to a Google Form that needs to be filled out as well.


On Monday, December 6 we will be awarding checks to the winners; monetary awards made possible by Invest for Kids and local supporters.

We would also like to thank our other supporters: Goldberg Kohn, New Plan Learning, ORBA and UChicago-Impact. 


                                             Dan Duster


Out of the 121 nominations INCS received this fall, these 12 individuals, one principal, two teachers, six students, a parent, the lifetime achievement award winner, and a Charter Champion, really stood out.

Congratulations to all the 2021 winners and finalists. The INCS Charter 2022 Excellence Awards nominating season will open up again in spring 2022 so begin thinking about the superstar at your school that you would like to nominate!


Principal of the year:                               Angela Johnson-Williams – Providence Englewood

Finalist:                                                           Derrick Orr – CICS Wrightwood

High School Teacher of the year:       Sean Hamilton – Catalyst Maria

Finalist:                                                          Melissa Marcial – Intrinsic Belmont

Elementary Teacher of the year:        Kelly Marquez – Acero Esmeralda Santiago

Finalist:                                                          Precious Allen – Betty Shabazz

Parent:                                                           Patrice Ziegler – UChicago Donoghue

Lifetime Achievement:                           Cheryl Frazier – Southland College Prep

High School Seniors:

  • Mariam Aljuboory – Chicago Math & Science Academy
  • Christian Hines – Urban Prep Englewood
  • Carleagle Perez – HSA McKinley
  • Lauren Russell – Southland College Prep

Eighth graders:

  • Xavier Santoyo – Namaste
  • Chiya Stonewall – CICS Wrightwood

Charter Champion

  • Alderman Felix Cardona


We appreciate the of the nominations that were sent in, and the committee members who helped review all of the applications. We look forward to the 2022 Excellence Awards in the Spring.