The Ryan Award 

Congratulations to the 2016 Ryan Award Recipients

For the third straight year, Accelerate Institute has awarded the Ryan Award to two high-impact urban school leaders who accelerate student achievement. Both were selected from a field of national nominees and received a $25,000 check from Pat Ryan—founder of Accelerate Institute—at a surprise school assembly attended by staff and students of each school.

We created the Ryan Award to highlight the leaders of the most successful transformational schools in the country,” Mr. Ryan said. “We want to honor these heroes, enlist them as role models, and help current and future principals learn from their successes. Lamont Browne and Tyson Kane, along with the recipients of the Ryan Award in the previous years, are the embodiment of excellent school leadership. 

Find out more about this year's winners by clicking on their names below.

Laura Miguez Howarth

School Leader at KIPP Nashville Academy

Hannah Lofthus

Founding Principal and CEO
at Ewing Marion Kauffman School in Kansas City, MO  

Hear from past Ryan Award winners


What is the Ryan Award?

The Ryan Award is the first national award honoring transformational school principals in the United States. Awardees are principals of urban schools who have demonstrated accelerated results in underserved schools over a minimum of four years and serve a sizeable percentage of urban, low-income, and minority students. The Accelerate Institute recognizes the important and challenging work of school leaders across America who are giving students a chance by believing in them and holding student success as the only barometer to their own professional success.

The Awardees will each receive a $25,000 honorarium and be featured as a special guest lecturer for The Ryan Fellows in the summer program of the Accelerate Institute at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. Their stories and strategies will be profiled so that current and future school leaders can gain powerful inspiration and insight from their successes. The Ryan Award was established by the Accelerate Institute and made possible by the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Foundation.

Who is eligible for the Ryan Award?

Eligible principal candidates can be nominated from a variety of schools (traditional public, charter, and private) and should meet the following criteria:

Accelerated Student Advancement

Over four years of accelerated student achievement data from a nationally norm-reference assessment (i.e., NWEA MAP or ACT's EPAS)
School Demographics

• At least 80% percent of students eligible for free or reduced-price school lunch
• At least 80% percent of students from minority groups

Upon acceptance of the nomination, Ryan Award candidates will be asked to gather and share further insights into their work and provide documentation of their success (i.e., recent accreditation review, parent/student engagement survey, data analytics tool) that aligns to the eligibility criteria.

Nominate a transformational leader today

Know someone who is dramatically making a difference in urban education and closing the achievement gap? Nominate them for the Ryan Award. Please contact Himali Patel via email.