A teacher at KIPP Philadelphia Elementary Academy has won a national teaching award.
Dayna Perry was one of 10 teachers nationwide whom the KIPP Foundation honored for excellence in teaching Friday night in Houston during the annual conference of the national charter school network.
Winners were selected based on their track records in improving student performance, commitment to helping students succeed, and leadership in the classroom and their schools. Each will receive $10,000.
"I was shocked," Perry, 30, said Monday. "I had no idea. It's something you have to be nominated for. I was overwhelmed with gratitude to be nominated."
She said she had not had a chance to think about how she will use the money.
One of the founding teachers at KIPP's elementary school in the Tioga section, Perry has taught students in several grades in math and special education and worked on the math curriculum.
Last year, all her special-education students met their individual academic goals in both reading and math. In the fall, she will become a lead teacher and curriculum planner.
"No matter what the role or grade level, Dayna's love for her students has shown through," Ben Speicher, co-school leader of her school, said in a statement. "She is truly a special teacher and special person. Every student, colleague, and family member that meets her feels it."
KIPP - the Knowledge Is Power Program - is a national nonprofit network of 162 charter schools that are focused on preparing students for college.