Principal Lindsey Robinson of CICS Avalon Wins Ryan Award for Closing Achievement Gaps

On Monday, Lindsey Robinson, K-4 Principal at Chicago International Charter School Avalon/South Shore, received the Accelerate Institute’s Ryan Award for exceptional school leadership. Robinson’s recognition comes with a $25,000 honorarium and the opportunity to share the secrets of her success with other school leaders.

At CICS Avalon-South Shore, students have outperformed city and state averages on PARCC reading and math exams. While 25% of Chicago Public Schools students met or exceeded expectations on the PARCC in 2018, 42% of students at CICS Avalon/South Shore reached those levels. (This school year, Robinson is serving as interim principal of CICS-Basil, a campus in Englewood.)

Robinson grew up about a mile from the Avalon campus and graduated from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana with a major in sociology. She then joined Teach for America, serving in Camden, New Jersey, and later worked for Providence Englewood Charter School. While there, she earned two master’s degrees in education and joined Accelerate’s Ryan Fellowship Program for aspiring principals. She is now the first Ryan Fellowship graduate to win the Ryan Award for outstanding school leadership.

“We created the Ryan Award seven years ago to recognize transformational school leaders, and that’s exactly who Lindsey Robinson is,” said Pat Ryan Jr., founder of Accelerate Institute. “She is singularly focused on her students and making sure they have every educational opportunity they deserve.”

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Maureen Kelleher

Chicago Unheard blog manager Maureen Kelleher also serves as a senior writer and editor at brightbeam, a nonprofit network of education activists demanding a better education and brighter future for every child. Before joining the brightbeam team, she spent a decade as a reporter, blogger and policy analyst. Her work has been published across the education world, from Education Week to the Center for American Progress. A former high school English teacher, she is also the proud mom of a middle-schooler. Find her on Twitter at @KelleherMaureen.

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