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More Than Ever: Highlights from the 2017 National KIPP School Summit

Posted by KIPP LA on Aug 9, 2017 12:32:32 PM

The KIPP School Summit is an annual gathering of the entire KIPP Team and Family from 31 regions to connect, learn, share, and celebrate with colleagues and friends across the country. Read on for more details of the summit and KIPP LA highlights of the event.

About the Summit

This year’s summit, held in Las Vegas, focused on the theme of “more than ever” and included nearly 200 professional development sessions focusing on one of four key topics: Teaching & Learning, College & Career Support, Leadership & Management, and Social Justice & Equity. Additionally, more than 100 thought leaders from colleges, organizations, and KIPP Through College programs across the US came together to discuss the unique challenges facing first-generation college goers and identify practices and policies aimed at addressing these challenges. And several keynote speakers shared personal, inspirational experiences of educators becoming advocates and partners for justice and equity, motivating the audience to actively engage in their own communities.

KIPP LA Highlights

The event kicked off with an opening ceremony featuring live  performances and speeches by KIPPsters of all ages and regions. KIPP LA was represented by its own Jaeden Rabb, an alumnus of KIPP Philosopher’s Academy (KPA), who spoke of his experience at KPA after the 2016 presidential election and reminded us that now, more than ever, we need to stand strong together.

Phina Ihesiaba, a KIPP LA sixth grade teacher at KIPP Academy of Opportunity, shared her personal reflection on why KIPP’s mission matters more than ever during the KIPP Storytelling session.


KIPP LA Prep alumnus Christopher Morales and KIPP LA Parent Ambassadors Mirna Cardenas & Yolanda Quintero delivered powerful messages about the impact of KIPP LA on their lives. 

Christopher, an incoming sophomore at Cornell University, expressed his gratitude for the people and organizations in his life that have supported him - including KIPP LA - and shared how he plans to support the next generation. “I know that I will reach great success, and I will not settle for any less so that I can pave the way for future KIPPsters across the country.”


Christopher Morales, KIPP LA Prep alumnus

Yolanda acknowledged that through her involvement with the KIPP LA Family Ambassador and Civic Engagement programs, “I have found my passion and discovered how powerful my voice can be in advocating for the high-quality education that is rightfully deserved for my children, and my entire community. This is what drives me to not only be an involved parent, but an active parent.”


Yolanda Quintero, KIPP LA Family Ambassador (Photo Credit: Kat Goduco Photography)

Mirna, a mother to students at KIPP Raíces Academy and KIPP Academy of Innovation, believes that “KIPP schools are great schools because they are communities built by hundreds of individuals that have found their purpose and are sharing it with our children, our families, and our communities.”


Mirna Cardenas, KIPP LA Family Ambassador (Photo Credit: Kat Goduco Photography)

The final event of the summit is a special ceremony recognizing the best KIPP teachers of the year. The event was co-hosted by Andres Rodriguez, a third grade student from KIPP LA’s KIPP Iluminar Academy.


Andres Rodriguez, KIPP Iluminar Academy student (Photo Credit: Kat Goduco Photography)

Sophia Meuch, a fourth grade teacher at KIPP LA’s KIPP Iluminar Academy, was one of eleven teachers selected from more than 5,000 eligible teachers for the prestigious Harriett Ball Excellence in Teaching Award. Harriett Ball mentored and inspired KIPP founders Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin. Richard Barth, CEO of the KIPP Foundation, noted that Sophia and her fellow recipients “are leading the way in fulfilling KIPP’s mission of preparing students to live choice-filled lives.”


KIPP Iluminar teacher Sophia Meuch and school leader Mara Bond

The momentum from the 2017 KIPP School Summit will push the KIPP LA Team and Family forward in the 2017-18 school year and - more than ever - ensure that we are building a better tomorrow, together.

Topics: KIPP LA, Harriett Ball Award, KIPP School Summit

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