OAPCS School Leader and Teacher Awards Recognize Outstanding Educators

Landon Brown, School Leader of Stambaugh Charter Academy in Youngstown, Ohio received the School Leader of the Year Award and Stephanie Waldeck, a math teacher at Graham Expeditionary Middle School in Columbus, Ohio, received the Teacher of the Year Award at the OAPCS 9th Annual Charter Schools Conference November 13, 2015.

These annual awards are made by OAPCS to recognize an outstanding and innovative charter school leader and teacher who demonstrate the capacity to motivate and achieve success for their schools and students.

Brown was one of three school leaders in the final nomination group that also included Ramone Davenport of Dohn Community High School and Erik Tritsch of Fairborn Digital Academy.

Waldeck was nominated along with Nicholas McClellan of Horizon Science Academy of Toledo and Daniel Reiman of Entrepreneurship Preparatory School of Woodland Hills.

Brown, who has been a Principal and Assistant Principal for 12 years in Georgia and Ohio, was also a middle school math teacher. Peggy Young, Director of the Buckeye Community Hope Foundation Education Division, the Sponsor of Stambaugh Charter Academy, nominated Brown.

“It takes more than good intentions to be an effective school leader – it takes strong leadership and the right culture,” Young said. “Nearly all the students served at the Stambaugh Charter Academy live in poverty,” she added, “and Mr. Brown instills the confidence they need to be academically successful.”

“We are very proud of Mr. Brown and so pleased by the honor bestowed upon him by OAPCS,” Young said.

Brown leads a K-8 school of 500 students and his nominator noted his success is tied to his belief that building personal connections between teachers, students and their families is critical to student success. 

“I always wanted to be a teacher,” Brown said. “This job has resonated with me all of my life. I have a passion for working with children and I enjoy the fact there is never a dull moment.”

Brown has led community partnerships with groups such as the Kiwanis Club of Youngstown to support students and school projects. He leads a seminar for education majors at Hiram College and developed and implemented a school turnaround plan and a shared leadership initiative. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University and his Master’s degree from Mercer University.

Waldeck, who has taught eighth grade math at the Graham Expeditionary School since 2010, was nominated by James Kutnow, Dean and Director of Graham. 

“Stephanie is a quiet leader who has shown outstanding results in her classroom academically and socially that have a great impact on our community,” Kutnow said. “We are excited that she was selected and can publically be acknowledged for her hard work,” he added. “She is a true GEM of a teacher and we are proud to work alongside her.”

Waldeck, who received her Bachelor’s degree from Miami University, serves as a grade level coordinator and is a member of the school’s leadership team. She also leads her school’s data team initiatives and has generated significant Value Added growth for her students, according to Kutnow. Her patient and caring style guides her continued efforts to ensure all her students learn and thrive in the classroom, he noted in his nomination.