Judges Select 8 Semi-finalists for $25,000 Rohatyn Prize


Contacts: Sharon Rubinstein, srubinstein@teachingmatters.org212-875-3505 ext. 8, cell 703-901-7947; Kate Dilello,kdilello@teachingmatters.org212-874-3501.

A panel of judges has selected eight semifinalist principals who will now vie for Teaching Matters’ $25,000 Elizabeth Rohatyn Prize for Schools Where Teaching Matters.

Each year since 2010, the prize has supported principals’ efforts to boost effective teaching in their buildings. James Madison High School Principal Jodie Cohen, last year’s winner and a current judge, says “The award was a great boon – it lifted our capacity to implement teacher teams, offer more time for teachers to collaborate, and get new technology to help us work together most efficiently.”

The 2015 semifinalists, chosen from a pool of applicants within a 100 mile radius of New York, come from the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan – and Philadelphia. Public voting will determine who advances to the finalist round, and is then picked by the judges as winner.

Each principal’s application included details about the work they would pursue with the prize money, and is described in the online ballot for public voting. The initiatives include promoting teacher leader development, professional development support for teacher teams, using achievement coaches, a teacher mentor pilot, intensive collaborative lesson study, instructional coaches and demonstration classrooms, and in-depth inquiry cycles to improve practice.

These are the semifinalists:

  • Ms. Yvette Allen – In-Tech Academy/MS HS X368
  • ​Ms. Siv Boletsis – Manhattan Academy for Arts & Language/M427
  • Ms. Elizabeth Collins – University Neighborhood School /M448
  • Ms. Maria Herrera – Renaissance High School for Musical Theater & Technology/X293
  • ​Dr. Terri Ruyter – Battery Park City School/M276
  • Ms. Regina Tottenham – K373
  • ​​Mr. Christopher Zagacki –  Freire Charter Middle School, Philadelphia, PA
  • Ms. Erica Zigelman – MS 322

​After the public voting has named the four finalists, the judges will choose the Rohatyn winner and announce the result at a July 23rd luncheon. The judges this year are:  

  • Jaynemarie Angbah, Education Director for the School Age Division, Children’s Aid Society
  • Jodie Cohen, Principal, James Madison High School, 2014 Rohatyn Prize Winner
  • Ingrid Edelman, Teaching Matters’ Chairman’s Council Co-Chair
  • Rachel Leifer, Senior Program Officer, Education,​ Helmsley Charitable Trust
  • Christine Vernon, Graduate of Chelsea High School

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