CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Tyson Kane, founding principal of Chicago Bulls College Prep High School on Chicago’s near west side, today was named a recipient of the Ryan Award for exceptional leadership in closing the achievement gap in urban K-12 schools. The prestigious award includes a $25,000 honorarium and the opportunity to teach his successful methodologies at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Pat Ryan, Jr., founder of the Accelerate Institute which sponsors the award, presented Kane with a $25,000 check in a surprise school assembly. “We created the Ryan Awards to highlight the leaders of the most successful transformational schools in the country,” Ryan said. “We want to honor these heroes, enlist them as role models and help current and future principals learn from their successes. Tyson Kane is the embodiment of excellent school leadership.”
This is the third year these national awards are being conferred. They are distributed through the Chicago-based Accelerate Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of high-impact urban school leaders who accelerate student achievement.
Kane was called to an assembly of the Chicago Bulls College Prep student body that was actually a ruse to surprise him with the announcement. Kane said he was honored with the award, but acknowledged that “great teachers are the most important ingredient” to school success. “We have a strong school culture, and an amazing team. My simple goal is for us to be great. I want this because we work too hard and are too dedicated not to realize it. And our kids deserve it.”
Kane was hired six years ago when Chicago Bulls College Prep was established as part of the Noble Network of Charter Schools. The high school got its launch and name with the financial support of the Chicago Bulls Charities and serves 1,100 low-income students, primarily from Chicago’s west side. In Kane’s six years at the helm, Bulls Prep students have performed at consistently high levels, with 100 percent of its graduates being accepted to four-year universities, including Harvard University, Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. Of the 120 high schools in Chicago, Bulls Prep students have ranked in the top five in ACT score growth from freshman to junior year for the past three years.
One of Kane’s key initiatives was to implement a student-led, discussion-based model in the school’s classrooms. “We realized that kids have to be able to learn at the same rate and intensity by themselves as they do when they are with their teachers,” Kane said. “The rate of learning drops off when kids aren’t with you. That’s why we transitioned every classroom to a discussion-based room so our students are empowered to learn themselves.”
Kane also has focused on teacher development and classroom excellence. “Recruitment is my mantra,” he said, and he has written a practical 40-page summer training document to help clarify expectations of staff, encourage collaboration and share methodologies for achieving great results.
Kane views being a principal as a merger between two things he loves in his career – education and business. Before joining the Noble Network, he taught biology at a Los Angeles high school. Prior to that, he spent years in the private sector as a management consultant and in the banking industry.
Kane is the second Ryan Awardee in 2015. The first recipient, Lamont Browne of EastSide Charter School in Wilmington, Delaware, was announced last month. Ryan Award winners are nominated by education leaders across the country. Criteria are: nominees must be K-12 principals for at least four years with a measurable record of consecutive student achievement growth. This third class of Ryan Awardees will be celebrated at the Accelerate Institute’s annual Impact Dinner later this year in Chicago.
The Accelerate Institute is dedicated to ensuring all children have the opportunity to achieve to their fullest potential. It identifies high performing, results-focused school leadership with a passion for closing the achievement gap in urban education. For further information on the Ryan Awards and the Accelerate Institute, visit: http://www.accelerateinstitute.org/programs/ryan-fellowship/ryan-award-nomination
For further information about Chicago Bulls College Prep, visit: http://chicagobullscollegeprep.noblenetwork.org/