Charter School Trailblazers

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For more than 25 years, education’s most innovative community leaders, and principals have gone above and beyond to meet the needs of children in their community. The charter school supporters, coming from diverse racial, socio-economic, and political backgrounds, are united by their shared belief in the life-changing an excellent public education has on all children. Take a moment to meet those whom have paved the way for the charter school movement.

2019 Charter Schools Hall of Fame Awardee

Margaret Fortune is President/CEO of Fortune School. In 2010, under Fortune’s leadership, the organization launched a network of K-12 public charter schools in Sacramento and San Bernardino counties with the mission to close the African American achievement gap. The network currently includes seven public charter schools with a combined enrollment of more than 1,500 students.

2019 Champions for Charters Lifetime Achievement Award

As the ranking member of the House Education and Labor Committee, Congresswoman Foxx is clearly dedicated to supporting student’s in their educational endeavors and, given her background, it’s no surprise. She was the first member of her family to graduate from high school and went on to earn her bachelor’s degree and a MA in college teaching and a doctoral degree in education.

Ranking Member Virginia Foxx

2019 Charter School Leadership Awards

Charter school founder, current ABC/ESPN analyst, and former NBA star Jalen Rose received the inaugural Trailblazer Award for the Charter School Leadership Awards in 2019. His school, the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, opened its doors in September 2011 and is an open enrollment, tuition-free, public charter high school on the Northwest side of Detroit. The Academy currently serves over 400 9th through 12th grade students and graduated its inaugural class in June 2015—100 percent of the Academy’s graduates have gained college, trade/technical school, or military acceptance.


Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker is the former chief of staff to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He helped organize the 1963 “March on Washington,” and the 1963 protests in Birmingham, Ala., which led to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. His concern for educational excellence as a continuation of his civil rights activism led him to advocate for a charter school in the Harlem community, where he co-founded the Sisulu-Walker Charter School of Harlem, the first charter school in New York approved by the State University of New York.