Charter School Hall of Fame

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is proud to welcome the following distinguished inductees into the National Charter Schools Hall of Fame, which was established to recognize individuals and organizations for their contributions in the following areas:

  • Pioneering efforts in the development and growth of charter schools
  • Commitment and contributions to charter schools and education
  • Innovative ideas and successful implementation of those ideas
  • Inspiration to others in the charter school movement

Congratulations to the 2016 Hall of Fame Inductees!


Bill Kurtz 200

Bill Kurtz is the CEO of the Denver Schools of Science and Technology (DSST) Public Schools, which serves 4,800 students in 12 middle and high schools, and is expected to educate 1 in 4 of Denver’s middle and high school students by 2022. During the 2014-15 school year, DSST ran the top three public schools in Denver and five out of the top six. Prior to becoming the CEO, Kurtz was the founding head of school of the Denver School of Science and Technology (Stapleton), the flagship school of DSST Public Schools. Bill was recognized as the 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year by the NewSchools Venture Fund, and was an Aspen Institute-Pahara Fellow. He is currently participating in the Broad Academy for superintendents.


Dr. Rod Paige grew up the son of a school principal and librarian in a segregated small town in Mississippi. He has devoted his life to improving the U.S. education system, ultimately serving as the U.S. Secretary of Education from 2001 to 2005, under President George W. Bush. As the first African-American to serve as the superintendent of the Houston Independent School District, he was known for his inclusive leadership and innovative approaches to academic improvement, and was named as the National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators in 1996. Dr. Paige’s relentless quest to improve the quality of education for all students has always motivated his work, and in 2010 he published “The Black-White Achievement Gap: Why Closing it is the Greatest Civil Rights Issue of Our Time.” 

Kim Smith 200 Kim Smith, widely recognized as an innovative and entrepreneurial leader in education, is the CEO and founder of the Pahara Institute. Featured in Newsweek’s “Women of the 21st Century” report on as “the kind of woman who will shape America’s new century,” Smith has championed for the improvement of educational outcomes for low-income students throughout her career. Smith co-founded Bellwether Education Partners, served as a founding team member at Teach For America, created and led an AmeriCorps program for community-based leaders in education, and co-founded and led NewSchools Venture Fund, a nonprofit organization focused on transforming public education through social entrepreneurship.

Hall of Fame Inductees 2007-2015







  • Norman Atkins
  • James Goenner
  • John King




  • Howard Fuller
  • Sonia Gutierrez
  • Ted Kolderie
  • John Walton