New Orleans Teacher Wins $25,000 Prize

| The Times-Picayune | Danielle Dreilinger

A New Orleans kindergarten teacher is one of four winners of the national Fishman Prize for Superlative Classroom Practice. Erica Mariola was surprised Thursday morning (May 28) at her KIPP East Community classroom by her students and both of the city's school superintendents.

The award comes with $25,000 and a summer fellowship. More than 5,000 teachers were nominated. It is given by TNTP, formerly known as the New Teachers Project, which places and trains teachers in schools around the country.

Mariola has been teaching for seven years, according to TNTP officials. Her kindergarteners typically move from the 20th percentile in mathematics to the 90th percentile. Before entering education, Mariola worked as a neuroscience researcher and was a surrogate mother for orphaned primates in Cameroon.

Two New Orleans-area teachers were semi-finalists: Evan Stoudt of Sci Academy in eastern New Orleans and Troy Hobson of Greenlawn Terrace Elementary in Kenner.

The other three winners teach in Roxbury and Chelsea, Mass., and Brooklyn.

For photos and video of Erica's announcement, please visit The Times-Picayune.

Imali Ariyarathne, seventh-grade teacher at Langston Hughes Academy, stands in front of her students while introducing them to the captivating world of science

Imali Ariyarathne, seventh-grade teacher at Langston Hughes Academy, introduces her students to the captivating world of science.

About TNTP

TNTP is the nation’s leading research, policy, and consulting organization dedicated to transforming America’s public education system, so that every generation thrives.

Today, we work side-by-side with educators, system leaders, and communities across 39 states and over 6,000 districts nationwide to reach ambitious goals for student success.

Yet the possibilities we imagine push far beyond the walls of school and the education field alone. We are catalyzing a movement across sectors to create multiple pathways for young people to achieve academic, economic, and social mobility.

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