Kansas City’s Kauffman School Principal Receives Prestigious Ryan Award

School’s founding principal, Hannah Lofthus, learned at surprise
ceremony that she is a Ryan Award recipient, which includes honorarium
and the opportunity to teach the next generation of school leaders.

KANSAS CITY, Mo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Hannah Lofthus, founding principal and Chief Executive Officer of the
Ewing Marion Kauffman School in Kansas City, MO, was named a recipient
of the Ryan Award for exceptional leadership in closing the achievement
gap in urban K-12 schools. The prestigious award includes a $25,000
honorarium and the opportunity to teach her successful approach at the
Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.


Pat Ryan, Jr., founder of the Accelerate Institute which sponsors the
award, presented Lofthus with a plaque and a check in a surprise school
assembly. “We created the Ryan Awards four years ago to recognize the
leaders of the most successful transformational schools in the country,”
Ryan said. “We want to not only honor these individuals, but enlist them
as role models to help current and future principals learn from their
successes. Hannah Lofthus is the embodiment of excellent school
leadership.”

The Ryan Awards are distributed through the Chicago-based Accelerate
Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of
high-impact urban school leaders who accelerate student achievement.

Lofthus was called to a high school assembly that was actually a ruse to
surprise her with the announcement. Lofthus said, “I am honored to
receive this and so proud that my founding class of 5th grade
students was here with me. They have pushed me to be the best leader I
can be since we started together five years ago. Every day they
demonstrate what is possible for students in Kansas City.”

Lofthus opened the Kauffman School in 2011 and established a mission of
creating college graduates. It has grown to include two middle schools
and a high school. Next year, the Kauffman School will serve nearly 900
students in grades 5 through 10. The school accepts students by lottery,
prioritizing students that live in the six highest-need zip codes in the
district; 87 percent of Kauffman School students qualify for free or
reduced lunch.

Students who attend the Kauffman School show significant learning gains.
A third of students in the founding class were proficient on Missouri
state assessments before starting in 5th grade. After four
years, the founding class performed in the 93rd percentile in
English Language Arts, the 96th percentile in science, and
the 99th percentile in math. The first year that the state
administered Common Core aligned exams, every Kauffman School class and
subject increased the percentage of students proficient and advanced on
the test, and nearly every class and subject met or exceeded the state
proficiency rate. The Kauffman School was named the 2015 Missouri
Charter School of the Year.

Lofthus is a nationally-recognized talent developer, and leads her team
of more than 80 educators to meet ambitious goals by engaging in daily
observations, weekly coaching sessions and weekly whole-staff
professional development. She trains leaders across the country through
Relay Graduate School of Education’s Leverage Leadership Institute and
the National Principals Academy Fellowship. Her outreach helps spread
the success of Kauffman School students, as well as the movement for
education reform in Kansas City.

Lofthus is the second Ryan Award winner in 2016. Winners are nominated
by education leaders across the country. Nominees must be K-12
principals for at least four years with a measurable record of
consecutive student achievement growth. This fourth class of Ryan
Awardees will be celebrated at the Accelerate Institute’s annual Impact
Dinner later this year in Chicago.

The Accelerate Institute is dedicated to ensuring all children have the
opportunity to achieve to their fullest potential. It identifies high
performing, results-focused school leadership with a passion for closing
the achievement gap in urban education. For further information on the
Ryan Awards and the Accelerate Institute, visit: http://www.accelerateinstitute.org/programs/ryan-fellowship/ryan-award-nomination

For further information about the Ewing Marion Kauffman School, visit: http://www.kauffmanschool.org
or contact media@kauffmanschool.org.

Contacts

Accelerate Institute
Nora Ligurotis
312.216.1708
nligurotis@accelerateinstitute.org