The Association of American Educators Foundation announced 2019 AAEF Advocacy Fellow Roseangela Mendoza, an NJCU alumna, as the first recipient of the Charter Advocate of the Year Award, presented by the New Jersey Charter Schools Association (NJCSA). Ms. Mendoza accepted her award at the opening ceremony of the New Jersey Charter Schools Conference in Atlantic City, NJ, on October 15, 2019, and received a standing ovation from charter school educators, leaders, parents, and advocates from throughout the state.
“I am truly moved by this recognition and hope it inspires more educators to advocate for our students and to connect with excellent organizations such as AAE and NJCSA for guidance,” said Ms. Mendoza.
NJCSA president Harry Lee, who presented the award, remarked, “Ms. Mendoza’s tireless efforts on behalf of her students, her school, and all students in New Jersey exemplify the importance and impact of education advocacy and the educator voice outside the classroom. Her impressive body of work during her AAF Advocacy Fellowship represents a level of commitment to education equity and excellence of which we all can be proud.”
AAE Foundation’s Advocacy Fellowship program trains educators around the country to advocate for their students. AAEF Advocacy Fellows serve in public district and public charter schools throughout the country and travel to Washington, D.C. to meet with legislative leaders and AAE national staff. As a member of the inaugural cohort of AAEF Advocacy Fellows, Roseangela presented testimony to the New Jersey Board of Education, published five op-eds, and served on expert panels discussing educator advocacy at AAE Foundation’s Advocacy Summit in Newark, and “A Culture of Advocacy” at the New Jersey Charter Schools Conference.
AAE and AAE Foundation executive director Colin Sharkey added, “We commend Rosie for this well-deserved recognition and we are inspired by her courage and commitment to her students.” Mr. Sharkey continued, “We celebrate all of the many actions our Fellows take each year as we work to ensure every student has access to an excellent education.”
Ms. Mendoza serves as the Middle School Lead and Social Studies teacher with The Ethical Community Charter School (TECCS) in Jersey City, New Jersey. In addition to her teaching responsibilities she is the Community Outreach and Service Learning Coordinator at TECCS. “Rosie has boundless energy to take on any initiative. She is highly respected by the entire school and is committed to school choice for all families,” said Marta Bergamini, Principal, TECCS. “We are very proud of her advocacy work for our charter schools.”
The Association of American Educators Foundation (AAEF) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides teachers and leaders with opportunities, information, and funds to reform and improve the education of America’s youth. AAEF was established to support the activities and mission of the Association of American Educators (AAE)—the largest national, non-union, professional educator organization, advancing the profession by offering a modern approach to educator empowerment and advocacy—promoting professionalism, collaboration, and excellence without a partisan agenda. AAE is committed to a teaching profession that is student oriented, well respected, and personally fulfilling. AAE serves members in all fifty states and welcomes professionals from all education entities. Membership is $16.50 per month which includes $2 million professional liability insurance, employment rights coverage, professional resources, and many other benefits. Visit aaeteachers.org for more information.
PHOTO CAPTION: Pictured l-r: Harry Lee, President, New Jersey Charter Schools Association (NJCSA), Roseangela Mendoza, Jersey City educator, AAEF Fellow, and recipient of Charter Educator of the Year Award, Dr. Lamont Repollet, New Jersey Department of Education Commissioner, and Michele Mason, Executive Director, Newark Charter School Fund at the 2019 New Jersey Charter Schools Conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey, October 16, 2019.
Photo credit: Liz Parlett Butcher, AAE