While we strive to ensure our teammates feel celebrated every day, we go all out at our annual TEAMpsy Award ceremonies, when our school communities in Newark and Camden come together to celebrate outstanding achievement! Every staff member makes a difference in the lives of our students, whether through supporting our students in reaching their academic goals or ensuring day to day school operations runs smoothly.

The 2022 TEAMspy Award honored staff whose dedication, teamwork, and commitment to students are unmatched. Below, this year's winners reflect on what their awards mean to them, and we invite you to celebrate them with us!

Kid Focus Award 
The nominees of the Kid Focus Award remind us what it means to go above and beyond for our kids by always believing that promises made to children are sacred—and keeping their commitments to them 100% of the time. These teachers believe that our students are our students no matter what time of day it is, whether they’re at home or at school, or whether they are current students or alumni.

Newark: Tiandra Kimbrough, KIPP Newark Community Prep

“It is a privilege to work for a KIPP, an organization that has prepared me for a choice filled life, to win the Kid Focus Award is an amazing feeling.” —Tiandra

Camden: Earl Bowen, KIPP Whittier Middle

Newark – Qadriyyah Hill (KIPP Newark Lab High School), Tasha Mitchell  (KIPP Life Academy)
Camden – Monique Milanes (KIPP Lanning Square Middle), Ken O’Kane (KIPP High School)

Freedom Award
The nominees of the Freedom Award always exemplify this value by using the freedom that is given to them to develop new programs, practices, and ideas in service of our students. Our freedom nominees believe that some structures are necessary and freeing, but seek to remove, and avoid creating, unnecessary bureaucracy. 

Newark: Harold Brown, KIPP Newark Collegiate Academy

“Winning a TEAMSpy, or being recognized generally for a job well done, makes you feel seen for hard work that goes into being an educator. For any TEAMSpy winner, the award represents all of the team work and feedback that goes into becoming better educators for our students.” - Harold

Camden: Meredith Schoyer, KIPP Lanning Square Primary

“Our organization is full of amazing educators who work relentlessly to ensure that our students are set up for success in leading choice-filled lives. Being selected amongst such amazing teammates is an incredible honor.” - Meredith

Newark – Isaac Abankwa (KIPP Upper Roseville Academy), Ondrena Clyburn (KIPP BOLD Academy)
Camden – Morgan Reiss, Jena Cherwien (KIPP Lanning Square Middle)

Improvement Award

The nominees of the Improvement Award constantly model what it means to get better by constantly seeking to improve their work and their school, no matter how good it already is and creating and sharing new practices, ideas, or approaches that improve our schools and communities.

Newark: Luisa Car, KIPP TEAM Academy

“It is a huge honor to receive The Improvement Award. I am grateful to work at a place where it pushes us all to be excellent and is receptive to new ideas for the excellence of our kids.” - Luisa

Camden: Brandi Williams, KIPP High School

“It is humbling to be seen as exemplifying your values. Receiving the Improvement Award to me means folks recognize my desire to constantly grow and learn” - Brandi

Newark – Zarreah Dent (KIPP Newark Community Prep),Yundeh Fisher (KIPP Justice Academy)
Camden – Lanesha Thompson, Rahim Shiver (KIPP Lanning Square Middle)

Fun Award

The nominees of the Fun Award can always be found making class fun for students, and work fun for their co-workers. Fun means recipients don't take themselves too seriously and make time to laugh and play.

Newark: Shayla Mitchell, KIPP Newark Collegiate Academy

“I’ll admit it feels really good to be nominated AND win. I have been with KIPP for quite awhile and every day I get to do what I love. There is power when you get to walk in your purpose.” - Shayla

Camden: Kyle Stratton, KIPP Lanning Square Primary

“Winning the Fun Award means the world to me. What a way to start my 16th year teaching physical education! I am proud, humbled, and motivated knowing how many other fun staff I have the honor to work with every day at KIPP Lanning Square Primary. One love!” - Kyle

Newark – Johnathan Nunez (KIPP SPARK Academy), Christopher Blair (KIPP Seek Academy)
Camden – Acira Solomon (KIPP Whittier Middle), Mark Goode (KIPP Lanning Square Middle)

Impact Award

The nominees of the Impact Award always show us what is possible by believing that the ultimate results we seek are all of our students getting to and through college or the career training they choose. Having a significant, measurable impact on students’ academic achievement or on improving the lives of teachers. 

Newark: Olayinka Okoye, KIPP Newark Collegiate Academy

“Winning this TEAMspy is validation that I made the right decision years ago to join the KIPP family. It is a reminder that even when I feel I could have a greater impact on our kids and community, there are people who are authentically rooting for me. And this is motivation to continue the journey of wins and challenges.” - Olayinka

Camden: Dana Kerrihard, Lanning Square Campus

“Winning the IMPACT award this year was one of the proudest moments of my career. This award is a reflection of the challenging behind the scenes work of my operations team to ensure that our teachers and students are able to focus on teaching and learning during a really difficult year!” - Dana

Newark – Nikeya Stuart (KIPP TEAM Academy),Taylor Jenkins (KIPP BOLD Academy)
Camden – Nick Lisciandro (KIPP Lanning Square Middle), Evan Boyer (KIPP Whittier Middle)

TEAMwork Award

The nominees of the TEAMwork Award are teammates that we can count on at any time or any day because they put the interests of students and their team above personal interests and are ego-less in seeking to do what’s best for the whole organization and their colleagues. 

Newark: Shenise Wilkins, KIPP Truth Academy

“I am grateful to win a TEAMSPY because to me it signifies that my teammates understand that I not only value the work that they do but I am here to support, encourage and partner with them.” - Shenise

Camden: Sharae McGrill, KIPP Whittier Middle

“Winning a TEAMSPY was a perfect reminder that I am absolutely doing what I love to do. I am pleased to know that my commitment, passion, and desire to contribute to our schools was apparent in my work. I am inspired to continue with the same energy as I blossom in my career at KIPP. “ - Sharae

Newark – Bulour Zarzar (KIPP Upper Roseville Academy), Sean Ogunnoiki (KIPP Newark Lab High School)
Camden – Kanesha Moore (KIPP Lanning Square Middle), Maggie Jennings (KIPP Lanning Square Primary)

Heartbeat Award

Newark Winner: Al-Shacore Jenkins, KIPP 13th Street Campus

“Winning this award means SO MUCH to me. I went from being a KIPP Rise Academy and KIPP NCA alumnus to now working here and giving back and encouraging other alumni to do the same.” - Al-Shacore

Camden Winner: Charlysse Graham, KIPP Lanning Square Middle

“As I reflect on my career at KIPP Lanning Square Middle, this TEAMSPY represents the unconditional love that I have for my scholars, their families, my teammates, and Camden. It represents my roots that have spread out these past five years. It shows me that my roots have produced good fruit and made an impact in various ways. This "HEARTBEAT" award reminds me that no matter how challenging this work may become, to always allow my "WHY" to drive all that I do. I'm truly grateful.” - Charlysse

Newark – Lacey Reynolds (KIPP BOLD Academy), Rebecca Fletcher (KIPP Seek Academy)

TEAM of the Year Award

The nominees of the TEAM of the Year Award in Newark demonstrate what it looks like when amazing teammates come together and make magic happen for our kids and families. When we say there is no I in TEAM, we mean it! Let’s give it up for the winners of the TEAM of the Year award….The Self-Contained Team at KIPP BOLD Academy! Congratulations to this phenomenal team!

Winner: BOLD Self Contained Team

- KIPP Newark Lab High School Founding 11th Grade Team
- KIPP SPARK Academy Kindergarten Team

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