Finalists Named for the 2017 Robert F. Kennedy Urban Education Awards



April 19th, 2017


NEW YORK: Individuals from across the country devoted to improving education and fighting injustice have been named finalists for the 2017 Robert F. Kennedy Urban Education Awards, announced by Schools That Can (STC) in partnership with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.

The 2017 awards honor a school leader, teacher, and student who demonstrate grit and courage in the face of adversity. “We want to shift the education dialogue to one which celebrates our fellow Americans defying the status quo,” said Michael Druckman, Executive Chair of Schools That Can. “We must learn from them as models of success.” Finalists were nominated by peers and chosen as exemplars of the following quote by Robert F. Kennedy:

“Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted, when we tolerate what we know to be wrong, when we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy or too frightened, when we fail to speak up and speak out, we strike a blow against freedom and decency and justice.”

2017 Awardees will be announced May 11th during Schools That Can’s National Forum: Real World Learning for the 21st Century. Tickets are available at:


School Leaders

  • Richard Clark (St Martin de Porres High School, Cleveland)
  • Maureen Doyle (Urban Community School, Cleveland)
  • Michelle Navarre (Polaris Charter Academy, Chicago)


  • Mark Barga (City Charter High School, Pittsburgh)
  • Mario Benabe (South Bronx Community Charter School, NYC)
  • Shaquise Elie (MESA Charter School, NYC)


  • Deandre Allen (Chicago Tech Academy, Chicago)
  • JaVaughn Corbett-Sparks (City Charter High School, Pittsburgh)
  • Damian Manley (Manchester Academic Charter School, Pittsburgh)

For more information about the Robert F. Kennedy Urban Education Awards, 2017 finalists, and Schools That Can’s Annual Forum, please visit

Schools That Can (STC) creates a safe space where teachers and school leaders from urban schools, education innovators, and industry leaders work together to advance school improvement and ensure all students have the skills they need to succeed in college, career, and life. The organization currently works with more than 170 high-potential schools serving over 60,000 students nationwide. Since 2005, it has grown from a small cluster of schools to the largest cross-sector network of urban schools, and draws upon the strong knowledge and practices within its network to address the needs of each school and the national landscape, including increasing opportunities for real-world learning, building 21st century skills, and connecting education to employment (e2e).

Learn more about Schools That Can at,, and on Twitter @SchoolsThatCan.