2017 Charter Award Winners

Charter schools have been part of the fabric of Arizona’s public school landscape for over 20 years. Through the hard work and dedication of our teachers, administrators and students, Arizona charter schools are outperforming nearly every state in the country.

The Association is proud to celebrate these success stories through our 2017 Charter Awards, spotlighting outstanding examples of public charter school excellence in teaching, academic leadership, business administration and school-wide success.

<font size="2.5">Charter School</font>

Charter School

Reid Traditional Schools’ Painted Rock Academy is a K-8 back-to-basics charter school serving 612 students in north Phoenix. The high performing public charter school sets a high academic bar for students, and believes – given the right tools – all students can achieve success.

<font size="2.5">Transformational Leader</font>

Transformational Leader

Sara Maline Bohn is the principal at Arizona School for the Arts, a 5-12 charter school serving 850 students in Phoenix. Through her mission driven decisions, Sara champions success and growth for all students and teachers and has earned the respect of the entire community.

<font size="2.5">Business Leader</font>

Business Leader

Suzanne Drakes is the Assistant Executive Director at AAEC Early College High Schools, a network of six charter schools serving 1,700 students. Suzanne is often seen on school campuses, working with principals and teachers to determine the academic and building needs of each school.

<font size="2.5">Charter Teacher</font>

Charter Teacher

Bonnie Weppner is an ELL kindergarten teacher at Pioneer Preparatory School: A Challenge Foundation Academy, a K-6 charter school serving 580 students in Phoenix. Bonnie helps scholars realize their language potential in English, while still embracing their heritage.

2017 Charter Award Finalists

  • 2017 Charter School of the Year Runner-Up: Legacy Traditional School – Chandler, an A-rated, K-8 charter school serving 1,200 students in Chandler. Legacy Traditional Schools mission is to provide motivated students with the opportunity to achieve academic excellence in an accelerated, back-to-basics, safe learning environment taught by caring, knowledgeable, and highly effective educators in cooperation with supportive, involved parents.
  • 2017 Charter Transformational Leader of the Year Runner-Up: Peter Boyle, Founding School Director of Western School of Science and Technology: A Challenge Foundation Academy, a 7-12 charter school serving 600 students in west Phoenix’s Maryvale community. Data, both qualitative and quantitative, proves that Peter’s leadership is setting a high bar on campus and raising the bar for what education should look like in Maryvale.
  • 2017 Charter Business Leader of the Year Runner-Up: William Rubasch, Chief Operating Officer of Arizona Charter Schools, a network of seven charter schools including the La Paloma Academies in Tucson, Heritage Elementary Schools in Williams and Glendale, and the Liberty Traditional Charter Schools in Phoenix and Douglas. William plays a leadership role in every project he manages. By leading budgeting, he alleviates the stress on principals and teachers, so they can focus on the core mission of providing students with an excellent education.
  • 2017 Charter Teacher of the Year Runner-Up: Ashley Sweigert, third-grade teacher at Imagine Elementary at Tempe, a K-6 charter school serving 285 students in Tempe. Ashley is not only the runner-up for 2017 Arizona Charter Teacher of the Year, but was also honored as the 2017 National Teacher of the Year for Imagine Schools, a national non-profit charter school network serving more than 30,000 students. Ashley is a dedicated teacher with great passion for her students’ success.

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Past Award Winners


School of the Year — Academy of Math and Science – Prince
Transformational Leader of the Year — Valerie Merrill, Legacy Traditional School – Gilbert
Business Leader of the Year — Betsy Rosenmiller, Metropolitan Arts Institute
Teacher of the Year — Richelle Lewis, American Leadership Academy – Queen Creek

Find out more here.


Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Education — Greg and Pam Miller, Challenge Charter School
School of the Year — Mission Montessori
Transformational Leader of the Year — Arlahee Ruiz, NFL YET College Prep Academy
Business Leader of the Year — Melissa Holdaway, Arizona Charter Academy
Teacher of the Year — Katelyn Toci, Imagine Camelback

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Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Education — Harry Kressler, Pima Prevention Partnership
School of the Year — Villa Montessori
Transformational Leader of the Year — Heather Henderson, Arizona Charter Academy
Business Leader of the Year — Damon Norris, Legacy Traditional Schools
Teacher of the Year — Patricia Pearson, BASIS Chandler

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School of the Year — Champion Schools
Leader of the Year — Susan Chan, Kingman Academy
Business Leader of the Year — Becki Krueger, Leading Edge
Teacher of the Year — Christina Harguess, Self Development Charter School

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School of the Year — Phoenix Collegiate Academy
Leader of the Year — Keri Milliken, Tri-City College Prep
Teacher of the Year — Sheri Jordan, BASIS Flagstaff

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School of the Year — Valley Academy
Leader of the Year — Hugh Hallman, Tempe Preparatory Academies
Teacher of the Year — Carrie Wypiszynski, Phoenix Collegiate Academy
Lifetime Achievement Award — Richard Cooper, Tucson Country Day School

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School of the Year — Self Development Charter School
Leader of the Year — Dr. Lynn Robershotte, Edu-Prize
Business Leader of the Year — Heidi Mitchell, Reid Traditional Schools
Teacher of the Year — Michele Hudak, Candeo Schools

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School of the Year — Sonoran Science Academy – Tucson
Leader of the Year — Larry Pieratt, University Public Schools Initiative
Teacher of the Year — Sally Datria, Pinnacle Pointe Academy
Lifetime Achievement Award — Dr. Reginald Barr, AmeriSchools

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School of the Year — AmeriSchools College Preparatory Academy
Leader of the Year — Greg and Pam Miller, Challenge Charter School
Teacher of the Year — William Hayo, Valley Academy

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