2019 Green Apple Award Winners

Dec 12 2019


Congratulations to the 2019 Green Apple Award winners! Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the charter school movement!

Jenna Stauffer CEO, Lighthouse Community Public Schools

When Jenna Stauffer began teaching in 1995, she brought idealism, determination, and deep love to her work. Twenty-two years later, she brings the same to her role as CEO of Lighthouse Community Public Schools (LCPS). Jenna has worked tirelessly to launch, support, and lead two high-quality, innovative, K-12 schools in Oakland, CA. Under Jenna's leadership, LCPS has achieved results that serve as an inspiration in East Oakland — and to all public schools that serve historically disadvantaged students. LCPS students have the deck stacked against them: 75% are low income, 78% learned English as a second language, and 90% are the first in their family to go to college. Jenna sees beyond these numbers. With her promise that she will accept children as kindergarteners and graduate them, college-ready, 13 years later, LCPS produces results that squarely reject the status quo. Jenna fosters a sense of bridge-building by leading her team, her students, and their families with a desire for all students to achieve their dreams in life. She coined the phrase that LCPS is equal parts love and rigor, and exemplifies this daily as she pushes her team to reflect on data and to challenge assumptions – while never hesitating to give a child a hug or to tie a shoe.

John Schmidt Principal/Director, Union Street Charter School

Retired administrator John Schmidt (who could not be with us today) has had a very significant impact on Union Street Charter (USC), a K-5 school, since it began operation in August of 2006. Even though he retired in 2016, his influence and educational approach, shape the school community today. As a result of his hard work as an administrator, USC attracts highly qualified, dedicated teachers and enthusiastic families from the surrounding communities. Union Street Charter was awarded the 2018 Distinguished School and Exemplary Arts awards. Research based curriculum, small class size (17), parent involvement, and engaging content make USC a highly sought after school with waiting lists for all grades. John began his career in education as a primary grades’ teacher in 1981 at a private school. He quickly became essential in keeping the school afloat by becoming a co-director for the school. As the climate in education in the state of California began to change John’s vision of helping to provide an alternative learning environment to more students, for free, became reality. John’s ability to collaborate with his co-workers and not compromise the school’s core values and mission allowed Union Street Charter to not just exist but thrive for the past fourteen years. John still volunteers in the kindergarten classroom and continues to spearhead improvements on the campus both in the classroom and the playground. Though he may have officially retired, John’s love of USC remains.

Terri Schiavone Executive Director, Golden Valley Charter School

Terri began her career in education at the age of 20 when she drove solo from New York to California to take a position teaching middle school in the Los Angeles area. In 2000, she initiated a proposal for a new K-12 independent study charter school, Golden Valley Charter School (GVCS). In 2009, she envisioned and initiated a proposal for a new K-12 virtual charter school. Terri’s charter school was the first public school in California to require all graduating students to complete, at minimum, a one-semester online course to best prepare each student for ongoing education. Terri is the personification of the Green Apple Award. Terri devoted the vast majority of her career and life to crafting an outstanding school and furthering the charter cause. Not only has she capably and thoughtfully led GVCS on the path to being a successful and incredibly stable school, but she has contributed to the growth of the personalized charter school movement as a whole with her time, energy, and collaborative spirit. Terri is truly a pioneer who will long leave an impression in California charter schools.