Accelerate Institute to Host Annual Impact Dinner

Accelerate Institute to Host Annual Impact Dinner

Accelerate Institute will host its ninth annual Impact Dinner in downtown Chicago on Sept. 26th.

The event will be held at Chicago Cut Steakhouse, located at 300 N. LaSalle St. in River North. The evening is an opportunity for Accelerate Institute and supporters to celebrate the achievements of the 2019 Ryan Award winners.

This year’s winners are Joán Alvarez, principal of IDEA McAllen College Prep in McAllen, Texas, and Lindsey Robinson, who received the Ryan Award for her leadership as elementary principal of Chicago International Charter School Avalon in Chicago’s Avalon Park neighborhood.

Both Alvarez and Robinson were identified as candidates for the $25,000 award in a national search after students at their schools posted gap-closing results in statewide testing.

The 2019 Impact Dinner is sold out! But you can still show your support by making a donation today.

In September, both educators will have the opportunity to share their schools’ transformational stories before attendees of the Impact Dinner, which is sponsored by the Ryan Family and Accelerate Institute Board of Directors.

We created the Ryan Award seven years ago to honor transformational urban school leaders,” said Accelerate Institute Founder Pat Ryan Jr. “This year’s winners each have their own unique stories, but there’s one thing both have in common—their leadership styles are truly transformational.”

This year’s winners join the ranks of countless other urban educators who have been honored with the Ryan Award for their part in advancing Accelerate Institute’s mission of closing the achievement gap at urban schools throughout the United States.

Past Ryan Award winners include:

  • Molly Cole, Brooke East Boston (2018)
  • Jody-Anne Jones, North Star Academy Clinton Hill (2018)
  • Alexa Sorden, Concourse Village Elementary School (2017)
  • Elizabeth Vandlik, Success Academy Bronx 1 (2017)
  • Laura Miguez-Howarth, KIPP Academy Nashville (2016)
  • Hannah Lofthus, Kauffman School (2016)
  • Lamont Browne, EastSide Charter School/Family Foundations Academy (2015)
  • Tyson Kane, Chicago Bulls College Prep (2015)
  • Melissa Jones Clarke, Atlanta Heights Charter School (2014)
  • Michael Mann, North Star Academy College Prep (2014)
  • Eva Stevens, Heatherbrae Elementary School (2014)
  • James Troupis, Comer College Prep (2013)
  • Shantelle Wright, Achievement Prep (2013)
  • Ben Marcovitz, Sci Academy (2013)

The 2019 Impact Dinner will begin with a reception at 6 p.m. on Sept. 26, with dinner being served at 7 p.m.

To make a donation, visit:

Do you know a transformational principal who’s closing the achievement gap? Nominate them for the $25,000 Ryan Award today.