May 10 2024

Congrats to this year's MPS MELA educator honorees

MELA award recipient in classroom

Our big congratulations to ten outstanding Minneapolis Public Schools educators who have been selected for this year's Minneapolis Educator Leadership Awards (MELA)! Each honoree is receiving funds for creative projects that impact student achievement, go above and beyond to better the lives of students outside the classroom and improve our school communities.

Now in its ninth year, MELA provides opportunities for educators to recognize their peers, and we're proud to have a process that is entirely educator-focused and led, from nominations to proposals. Educators can be nominated by colleagues, community members, and even students. Nominees are invited to submit proposals, with winning proposals selected by a committee of teachers and staff who are actively working in MPS and have received the award in the past.

This year's MELA recipients and projects include:

Sarah Cooper-Evans, Anderson Andersen Middle School
Expanding Student Voices: Supporting Complex Communicators and Their Caregivers

Kai Gray, Transition Plus Services
Cooking, Food Service and Independence

Diane Hahn, Emerson Dual Language School
Bringing Student-Driven English Language Development to Life

Ruth LeMay, MPS Online School
Music Education for the Virtual Classroom

Ruth Ann Martin, Nellie Stone Johnson
Snap! & Living Things! STEM Projects Stepping Up Kindergarten Science

Maria Froud Martinez, Estrellas, Green Central and Emerson Elementary Schools, Andersen United Middle School, Roosevelt High School
Creciendo Juntos: Sembrando Liderazgo Bilingüe en los Parques (Growing Together: Planting Bilingual Leadership in Parks)

Katie Murphy-Olsen, Edison High School
Let’s Learn Outside, Together!

Mia Robinson, Ella Baker Global Studies and Humanities School
Connecting with Place and History Through Our Elders

Angie Cisneros Rosero, Wellstone International High School
Lion Tracks: Podcasting at Wellstone International High School

Jacquelyn Schwartz, Seward Montessori
Outdoor Learning

MELA awards are administered by Achieve Twin Cities in partnership with the John & Denise Graves Foundation. For more information, visit Graves Foundation website or contact Nominations for 2025 MELA awards will go live this fall.

Find out why Lisa Moy from the Graves Foundation loves supporting educators through MELA.

Learn more about funds administered by Achieve Twin Cities for MPS educators and classrooms.