14 Chicago Public School Educators Receive Elite “Distinguished  Teacher” Recognition Including Annual $10,000 Awards
Leading charter public school network recognizes transformational teachers for best-in-nation performance

CHICAGO—The Noble Network of Charter Schools is announcing 14 new teachers into its Distinguished Teacher program. Distinguished Teacher provides an industry-changing approach to celebrating and rewarding teachers who are achieving an exceptional impact with students. Among other benefits, each Distinguished Teacher will receive $10,000 annually for as long as they remain teachers at Noble. 

“We launched the Distinguished Teacher program in 2018 following years of prior research on how to best identify, celebrate, reward, and learn from Noble’s most impactful educators,” said Constance Jones, CEO of Noble. “This year, we’re delighted to announce 14 truly outstanding teachers who both cultivate and lead transformational classroom spaces that empower our students to live exemplary lives.”

Ellen Metz, head of schools for Noble, added, “By honoring teachers in our network who are consistently achieving exceptional results for their students, we are forging a new path in education. Distinguished Teachers are granted unique opportunities to inform teacher development and support across Noble. The program looks to combine teacher evaluation, awards and teacher-to-teacher learning into one unique organizational program in a way that we think changes the game for teachers and the students they serve.”

Distinguished Teachers must be in at least their fourth year teaching at Noble, having exemplified Noble’s core values and traits in five key areas:

  • Student Growth: Are your students achieving exceptional growth?
  • Classroom Culture: In what ways have you created a strong classroom in which students feel invested, empowered, and connected?
  • Instructional Rigor: In what ways do your classroom culture, planning, and instruction push students’ cognitive lift, quality responses, and intentional use of time?
  • Inclusion and Relevance: How is your classroom inclusive of and/or relevant to the students that you serve?
  • Extended Impact: How have you directly impacted your school, the community it serves, and/or our network outside of your classroom?

These Distinguished Teachers applied for the program by submitting written narratives and a portfolio of artifacts including comprehensive data. Finalists then participated in classroom observations and debriefs, student surveys, a panel interview, and reference checks over the course of several months. Read more about the rigorous application process, and unique program aspects here: https://nobleschools.org/careers/distinguished-teacher/    

Facts about this group of Distinguished Teacher recipients:

  • Average over 9 completed years of classroom teaching experience
  • Represent 9 of Noble’s 18 campuses
  • Subjects taught include: Cultural Geography, English, Honors Algebra, World History, Health & Fitness, AP Spanish

“Great teaching is not a one-size-fits all approach, but rather a complex and multifaceted concept that is honed over time,” said Kyle Cole, chief education officer at Noble. “Each of these premier educators has a unique perspective and valuable insights to offer that will raise our collective understanding of teaching and increase our collective impact on the students we serve.”

Ayanna Banks, manager of academic operations at Noble, added, “We recognize that teaching, though incredibly rewarding work, is hard and the various ways teachers make an impact often go unacknowledged. It is important to Noble, especially given the national trend of high-impact teachers feeling compelled to exit the classroom, that we honor the exceptional ways teachers serve our students and communities. The Distinguished Teacher program is our approach to celebrating teachers who, even in a network of extraordinary educators, are effectuating a uniquely incredible impact with students.” 

The Distinguished Teacher designation will come with several clearly defined benefits: 

  • An additional $10,000 award on top of base salary, as determined by the Noble Salary Schedule, each year for the duration of employment as a teacher at Noble;

  • Opportunities to engage in professional development specific to Distinguished Teachers as well as facilitate professional development experiences across the Noble Network;

  • Unique opportunities to participate in network-wide decisions across functions;

  • Participation in the selection of future Distinguished Teachers.

“Of the most far-reaching impacts to our theory of change is what we learn from our Distinguished Teachers,” said Metz. “By highlighting the people, codifying the practices and then leveraging Distinguished Teachers to collaborate or train others, we’re further developing on our ever-changing approach to teaching to match the limitless potential of our students.

Jones concluded, “From our interim assessments, college tools and SAT results, to our high school culture including health and fitness programs, Noble is raising the bar for others in education. With each new cohort of Distinguished Teachers, we seek to hold the door wide open to new possibilities for growth and development that will affect our schools, teachers and, of course, our students and families.”


About the Noble Network of Charter Schools

At Noble, we are college bound. Noble’s 18 nonprofit charter public schools prepare roughly 12,000 students for college success each year with excellent teaching, rigorous academics, and comprehensive wraparound supports. With love and high expectations, Noble guides students through the college application process and is recognized nationally for innovations in alumni support. The Noble Class of 2020 earned more than $500 million in college scholarships and more than 15,000 college acceptances. Learn more and join us at www.nobleschools.org.


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The newest Noble Distinguished teachers are:

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