Francisco Huerta ’14, a ninth-grade world history and reading teacher within the Noble Network of Charter Schools, was recently selected as one of 14 new educators to join into its Distinguished Teacher program.
The Noble Network of Charter Schools includes 18 nonprofit charter public schools that prepare roughly 12,000 students for college success each year with excellent teaching, rigorous academics, and comprehensive wraparound supports.
“This is the highest honor that an educator can receive within our network,” Huerta, an Eli Lilly Scholar who majored in psychology and minored in religion and economics, told Wabash Magazine.
The Distinguished Teacher program provides an industry-changing approach to celebrating and rewarding teachers who are achieving an exceptional impact with students, according to a news release. Among other benefits, each winner receives $10,000 annually for as long as they remain teachers at Noble.
“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,” Constance Jones, CEO of Noble, said in the release. “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.”
Distinguished Teachers applied for the program by submitting written narratives and a portfolio of artifacts including comprehensive data. Finalists then participated in classroom observations and debriefs, student surveys, a panel interview, and reference checks over the course of several months.
“The final round was an hour-long panel interview akin to the Wabash Senior Comprehensive Exam,” Huerta said. “It was an incredibly stressful process.”