People on the Move

Educators Schlagel, Mendoza, Odeh, Tracy, Hoffman, and Brooks Honored with Top Awards

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To submit news about new leadership and management changes at K–12 ed tech companies and at nonprofits in the K–12 ed tech space, complete the form at To submit news about new hires and promotions among K–12 public schools administration, complete the form at News releases should be emailed to [email protected].

Megan Schlagel Wins Edthena 2023 Teacher Leader Impact Award

Professional development provider Edthena has announced that Megan Schlagel of St. Vrain Valley Schools in Longmont, Colorado, was selected as the winner of its 2023 Teacher Leader Impact Award.

Schlagel, a math teacher at Niwot High School, was nominated by an administrator at her school for “having an impact in her classroom and beyond through her dedication to lifelong learning and the continuous improvement of her teaching practices,” Edthena said in a news release.

“Megan truly exemplifies what it means to be a teacher leader,” said Edthena CEO Adam Geller. “In addition to the impact she has with her students, Megan is passionate about supporting her fellow high school teachers and continuing her own professional learning.”

Schlagel will receive a school-wide subscription to the AI Coach by Edthena platform for the 2023–24 school year to further support her and her colleagues’ professional learning, the company said in its announcement.

Learn more about the Teacher Leader Impact Award at

McGraw Hill Names Winners of Inaugural Pathfinder Awards

McGraw Hill has announced the inaugural winners of its Pathfinder Awards, which recognize educators for innovative and inventive teaching, according to a news release.

The winners “include three exceptional educators from across K-12, higher ed and post-graduate education who are breaking new ground in their approach to teaching and helping learners succeed” the company said; each recipient will receive a $5,000 cash prize.

McGraw Hill Pathfinder Awards recipients are:

  • Roger Lee Mendoza, Ph.D., a business professor at California State University-Los Angeles

  • Ibrahim Odeh, founding director of Global Leaders in Construction Management at Columbia University, New York, N.Y.

  • Melissa Tracy, food studies and social studies teacher at Odyssey K–12 Charter School in Wilmington, Delaware

“Tracy is the driving force behind one of the most unique career and technical education programs in the country,” McGraw Hill said. “She transformed an elective Food Studies course into a massive agriscience program that has multiple outdoor gardens, goats and chickens, a hydroponic lab and opportunities for students to earn dual-enrollment college credits. Students learn about the environment, history, culture, and power through the lens of food, and the 3,500 vegetables they grow on-site each month are regularly donated to local charities.”

Learn more about the awards and this year’s recipients at

Specialized Education Services Staff and Teacher of the Year Announced

Specialized Education Services Inc. has named Kristi Hoffman as its 2023 Teacher of the Year and Ashanti Brooks as its 2023 Staff of the Year, according to a news release.

SESI’s awards honor teachers who “exemplify high-quality, evidence-based instruction and the importance of equitable education for all SESI students,” the company said. In addition to teachers, full-time support staff including social workers, behavior specialists and paraprofessionals, were eligible for nomination this year.

A teacher at Missouri’s High Road School of Wright City since 2019, Hoffman “has made a significant difference in the lives of numerous students,” SESI said. “Her dedication to creating an inclusive and supportive learning environment and emphasis on collaboration with colleagues and families have helped distinguish Hoffman as an outstanding special education teacher.”

A founding member of the Excel Academies of Chicago, Brooks “demonstrates exceptional dedication and skill in her multifaceted role as regional enrollment and recruiter coordinator,” SESI said. “Her reach extends far beyond the classroom, going out of her way to answer texts from students after hours and weekends, ensuring she is a continuous source of support — and she even coaches the boys basketball team.”

SESI’s more than 2,800 educators and staff members at day schools and in district classrooms were eligible for nomination for the awards. An SESI leadership panel selected Hoffman and Brooks as national winners along with campus, regional, and divisional winners, the company said.

Learn more and view the full list of winners at

About the Author

Kristal Kuykendall is editor, 1105 Media Education Group. She can be reached at [email protected].