The Ryan Award honors transformational school principals

The Ryan Award 

Congratulations to the 2018 Ryan Award Recipients

Recently, Accelerate Institute awarded the Ryan Award to two high-impact urban school leaders who accelerate student achievement. Both were selected from a field of national nominees and received a $25,000 check from Pat Ryan—founder of Accelerate Institute—at a surprise school assembly attended by staff and students of each school.

We created the Ryan Awards five years ago to recognize two leaders each year of the most successful transformational schools in the US. This is the first time both winners serve not only the same city, but the same community, the South Bronx. Our goal is to recognize the achievements of these outstanding leaders, enlist them as role models and help current and future principals learn from their successes.

— Pat Ryan, Founder


Find out more about this year's winners by clicking on their names below.

Molly Cole

Founding Principal, Brooke East Boston
Boston, Massachusetts

Jody-Anne Jones

Principal, North Star Academy Clinton Hill Middle School
Newark, New Jersey 


Hear from past Ryan Award winners


What is the Ryan Award?

The Ryan Award is the first national principal award in the United States. Awardees are transformational principals of urban schools who have demonstrated accelerated results in underserved schools over a minimum of four years and serve a sizeable percentage of urban, low-income, and minority students. Accelerate Institute recognizes the important and challenging work of school leaders across America who are giving students a chance by believing in them and holding student success as the only barometer to their own professional success.

The Awardees will each receive a $25,000 honorarium and be featured as a special guest lecturer at Accelerate Summer Institute at Northwestern University. Their stories and strategies will be profiled so that current and future school leaders can gain powerful inspiration and insight from their successes. The Ryan Award was established by Accelerate Institute and made possible by the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Foundation.

Who is eligible for the Ryan Award?

Eligible principal candidates can be nominated from a variety of schools (traditional public, charter, and private) and should meet the following criteria:

Accelerated Student Advancement

Over four years of accelerated student achievement data from a nationally norm-referenced assessment (i.e., NWEA MAP or ACT's EPAS) 
School Demographics

• At least 80% percent of students eligible for free or reduced-price school lunch
• At least 80% percent of students from minority groups

Upon acceptance of the nomination, Ryan Award candidates will be asked to gather and share further insights into their work and provide documentation of their success (i.e., recent accreditation review, parent/student engagement survey, data analytics tool) that aligns to the eligibility criteria.

Nominate a transformational leader today

Know someone who is dramatically making a difference in urban education and closing the achievement gap? Contact Himail Patel via email here.