Freeport High School Alumna Receives Elite “Distinguished Teacher” Recognition from Chicago Charter Public School

CHICAGO—The Noble Network of Charter Schools in Chicago has announced 14 new teachers into its Distinguished Teacher program, including Sarah Rogers (Golz), an environmental science teacher at Noble’s Golder College Prep. Rogers is a 2003 graduate of Freeport High School. Distinguished Teacher provides an industry-changing approach to celebrating and rewarding teachers who are achieving an exceptional impact with students. Among other benefits, each Distinguished Teacher will receive $10,000 annually for as long as they remain teachers at Noble.

“It is a great honor to be named a Distinguished Teacher for Noble and serve the science students of Chicago the past 12 years,” said Rogers.
“My educational foundation and example of excellent teachers started in Freeport from Center Elementary School HAPP program all the way
through Freeport High School. These examples are in my mind as I teach my students daily. ”

Since graduating from Freeport High School, Rogers went on to attend Illinois State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in biological sciences. Rogers later obtained a Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction with a concentration in science education from the University of Washington in Seattle. From there, Rogers spent six years teaching at two Chicago schools before starting her career at Golder College Prep. Outside of the classroom, Rogers is a proud wife and mother who loves great food, travel and spending time both outdoors and alongside friends and
family.

“We launched the Distinguished Teacher program in 2018 following years of prior research on how to best identify, celebrate, reward, and learn from Noble’s most impactful educators,” said Constance Jones, CEO of Noble. “This year, we’re delighted to announce 14 truly outstanding teachers who both cultivate and lead transformational classroom spaces that empower our students to live exemplary lives.”

Rogers added, “At my core, I believe that all students deserve access to a high quality education. As a science teacher, it is important to me that students are given the opportunities to take rigorous science courses that help them better understand the world around them and prepare them for their futures.”

“The Distinguished Teacher process pushed me to be a reflective practitioner. I examined my classroom practices, lesson planning and curriculum, and I evaluated how I engage students in learning in a deeper way,” said Rogers. “I am walking away from the process with areas I still want to grow and develop in, and I am looking forward to continuing to develop in order to help support student outcomes.”

Additional Background on the Distinguished Teacher Program:

“By honoring teachers in our network who are consistently achieving exceptional results for their students, we are forging a new path in education,” said Ellen Metz, head of schools for Noble. “Distinguished Teachers are granted unique opportunities to inform teacher development and support across Noble. The program looks to combine teacher evaluation, awards and teacher-to-teacher learning into one unique organizational program in a way that we think changes the game for teachers and the students they serve.”

Distinguished Teachers must be in at least their fourth year teaching at Noble, having exemplified Noble’s core values and traits in five key areas:

● Student Growth: Are your students achieving exceptional growth?
● Classroom Culture: In what ways have you created a strong classroom in which students feel invested, empowered, and connected?
● Instructional Rigor: In what ways do your classroom culture, planning, and instruction push students’ cognitive lift, quality responses, and intentional use of time?
● Inclusion and Relevance: How is your classroom inclusive of and/or relevant to the students that you serve?
● Extended Impact: How have you directly impacted your school, the community it serves, and/or our network outside of your classroom?

“Great teaching is not a one-size-fits all approach, but rather a complex and multifaceted concept that is honed over time,” said Kyle Cole, chief education officer at Noble. “Each of these premier educators has a unique perspective and valuable insights to offer that will raise our collective
understanding of teaching and increase our collective impact on the students we serve.”

The Distinguished Teacher designation will come with several clearly defined benefits:

● An additional $10,000 award on top of base salary, as determined by the Noble Salary Schedule, each year for the duration of employment as a teacher at Noble;
● Opportunities to engage in professional development specific to Distinguished Teachers as well as facilitate professional development experiences across the Noble Network;
● Unique opportunities to participate in network-wide decisions across functions;
● Participation in the selection of future Distinguished Teachers.

“Of the most far-reaching impacts to our theory of change is what we learn from our Distinguished Teachers,” said Metz. “By highlighting the people, codifying the practices and then leveraging Distinguished Teachers to collaborate or train others, we’re further developing on our ever-changing approach to teaching to match the limitless potential of our students.

Jones concluded, “From our interim assessments, college tools and SAT results, to our high school culture including health and fitness programs, Noble is raising the bar for others in education. With each new cohort of Distinguished Teachers, we seek to hold the door wide open to new possibilities for growth and development that will affect our schools, teachers and, of course, our students and families.”

About the Noble Network of Charter Schools

At Noble, we are college bound. Noble’s 18 nonprofit charter public schools prepare roughly 12,000 students for college success each year with excellent teaching, rigorous academics, and comprehensive wraparound supports. With love and high expectations, Noble guides students through the college application process and is recognized nationally for innovations in alumni support. The Noble Class of 2020 earned more than $500 million in college scholarships and more than 15,000 college acceptances. Learn more and join us at www.nobleschools.org.