Meet the 2019 Ryan Award Winners

Each of the winners have demonstrated an impressive record of success when it comes to student achievement growth. Their leadership and dedication to student success are models of excellence that should be strived for in all underserved schools. And that’s why the Ryan Award is proud to recognize their achievements. These leaders are making a difference in children’s lives for years to come. 


 

Joán Álvarez

Principal 
IDEA McAllen College Prep
McAllen, Texas 

Joán founded IDEA McAllen College Prep in McAllen, Texas in 2012. He was identified as a candidate for the Ryan Award after closing the achievement gap as principal of the school.

During the 2014-2015 school year, 52 percent of IDEA McAllen College Prep students met or exceeded state testing standards for reading and math. Under his leadership, that number jumped to 73 percent by the 2017-2018 school year.

Joán’s colleagues largely credit IDEA McAllen’s success to his personable and inspirational leadership style. “He never missed an opportunity to celebrate students’ growth and achievement, both on an individual and collective level,” one says. “Additionally, he consistently praised and recognized staff for their hard work and strong results.”

A first-generation college graduate himself, Joán has pledged his entire $25,000 honorarium toward graduating seniors’ college tuition.

Joán Álvarez, 2019 Ryan Award Winner

Joán Álvarez, 2019 Ryan Awardee

Lindsey Robinson

ELEMENTARY Principal 
CICS Avalon
Chicago, Illinois

Lindsey was honored with the 2019 Ryan Award for her transformational leadership as elementary principal at Chicago International Charter School Avalon in the Avalon Park neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side.

Under her leadership, CICS Avalon ranked as the second-highest performing Illinois K-8 school serving a high concentration of African-American and low-income students. During her time as principal, students outperformed both city and state averages on PARCC math and reading exams.

Lindsey grew up nearby the CICS Avalon campus—about one mile away in the Chatham neighborhood. “At the end of the day my goal is to make sure that students who grew up like me [have] a chance to be successful,” she says. “When you think about my life path, I should not have been here.”

Following her transformational performance at CICS Avalon, Lindsey now serves as elementary principal at Chicago International Charter School Basil in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood.

Lindsey is the first-ever Ryan Fellow to win the prestigious Ryan Award.

Lindsey Robinson, 2019 Ryan Award Winner

Lindsey Robinson, 2019 Ryan Awardee

Previous Ryan Award Winners in their own words

Molly Cole, 2018 Ryan Award Winner

Molly Cole, 2018 Ryan Awardee

Jody Jones, 2018 Ryan Award Winner

Jody Jones, 2018 Ryan Awardee

Alexa Sorden, 2017 Ryan Award Winner

Alexa Sorden, 2017 Ryan Awardee

Elizabeth Vandlik, 2017 Ryan Awardee

Elizabeth Vandlik, 2017 Ryan Awardee

Laura Miguez-Howarth, 2016 Ryan Awardee

Laura Miguez-Howarth, 2016 Ryan Awardee

Hannah Lofthus, 2016 Ryan Awardee

Hannah Lofthus, 2016 Ryan Awardee

Lamont Browne, 2015 Ryan Awardee

Lamont Browne, 2015 Ryan Awardee

Tyson Kane, 2015 Ryan Awardee

Tyson Kane, 2015 Ryan Awardee

Melissa Jones Clarke, 2014 Ryan Awardee

Melissa Jones Clarke, 2014 Ryan Awardee

Michael Mann, 2014 Ryan Awardee

Michael Mann, 2014 Ryan Awardee

Eva Stevens, 2014 Ryan Awardee

Eva Stevens, 2014 Ryan Awardee

James Troupis, 2013 Ryan Awardee

James Troupis, 2013 Ryan Awardee

Shantelle Wright, 2013 Ryan Awardee

Shantelle Wright, 2013 Ryan Awardee

Ben Marcovitz, 2013 Ryan Awardee

Ben Marcovitz, 2013 Ryan Awardee