The Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) announced that Lindy Mandel, middle school teacher and instructional coach at Chicago International Charter School Irving Park, has been named Elementary Teacher of the Year!
“Charter schools thrive on innovation and adaptability. With everything our community has gone through with the pandemic, we’ve still seen some of the most creative and thoughtful approaches to modern education in years,” explained Andrew Broy, president of INCS. “The 2022 winners of the Charter Excellence Awards embody everything that makes the charter public school community such a force for good. We are so proud of all they have done and will continue to do.”
Mandel has been part of the CICS Irving Park community since 2009 and has served in various roles from teaching assistant to the director of operations to middle school educator and instructional coach. As an innovative practice leader, Mandel led the implementation of the Summit Personalized Learning Platform for CICS Irving Park, and served as a Summit Learning Lead, developing training modules for and introducing the platform to new Distinctive Schools teachers.
“Lindy has been an incredible asset for CICS Irving Park, and Distinctive Schools,” shared Chief Talent Officer, Sami Baugh, “her leadership and passion for education is exactly what her students, families, and colleagues respond to – she makes a lasting impact on all she encounters, and we are incredibly grateful for her continued commitment to her students and Distinctive Schools.”
Mandel was nominated for the award by Peggy Diaz, CICS Irving Park Bilingual educator and parent, who has taught under Mandel’s mentorship with Distinctive Schools. On November 30, 2022, CICS Irving Park students and staff gathered in the school gymnasium for their weekly community meeting, the time the school takes to connect as a community, discuss school events, and recognize students of the week. At the top of the assembly, Diaz stepped up to the microphone and spoke about her nomination.
“It is the unquantifiable that sets her apart. It is the kind and patient words. It is the determined spirit to make sure everyone learns, and the wholehearted investment to understand the feelings and situations of others,” said Diaz. She continued, “How do you measure a year in a teacher’s life? How about love? Love is exactly what makes this teacher [Mandel] excellent.”
Mandel was presented with the award along with a check for $10,000, surrounded by her students, peers, and family members, and celebrated during the 2022 INCS Charter School Excellence Awards Reception on Monday, December 5, 2022 at the City View Lofts. CICS is incredibly proud of Mandel’s success as an educator, colleague, and leader. This year, INCS received over 120 nominations for leaders, teachers, parents and students from across Illinois’ charter sector, which spans 137 schools throughout the state. As with years past, 2022’s nominations were fiercely competitive.
About Chicago International Charter School
Chicago International Charter School is a vibrant network of diverse Chicago charter schools that enable students to thrive every day, put them on a path to success in college and life, and empower entrepreneurial educators to pursue excellence through innovation. CICS is serving more than 7,400 students at 13 campuses across Chicago. To learn more, visit www.chicagointl.org.
The Illinois Network of Charter Schools advocates for the improvement of public education by leveraging the charter school model as a catalyst to transform lives and communities. As the voice of Illinois charter schools, INCS engages a diverse coalition of policymakers, school leaders, parents, and community members to create systemic change and secure high-quality schools for underserved communities.