WAYNE, Pa., May 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Agora Cyber Charter School (Agora), a state-accredited, tuition-free, public cyber school option in Pennsylvania, today announced that Agora music teacher Andrew Rinaldi has been named the 2013 national winner of the American Pioneer of Teaching competition. The award is given annually by PublicSchoolOptions.org, a national alliance of parents, students and teachers that supports and defends parents' rights to access the best public school options for their children.
The American Pioneer of Teaching competition recognizes top performing K-12 teachers who work in nontraditional public schools, such as virtual, charter and magnet schools. Thousands of students, parents and teachers from across the country cast online votes through Facebook to determine the winner of the award, which is held each year in honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week.
"With each year that passes and each innovative school that opens to meet the individualized learning needs of students, we learn more about the creative and innovative ways teachers are helping students succeed," said PublicSchoolOptions.org President Beth Purcell. "Just like their colleagues in traditional public schools, these state-certified teachers are dedicated to educational excellence and student success. As a former teacher, parent and leader of a nationwide organization that represents the voice of parents, it is an honor to recognize teachers who help make a variety of public school options available."
Agora uses the award-winning K¹² curriculum to offer an exceptional individualized learning experience. The program is built on strong relationships – among classmates, teachers, students, and parents – that help the Agora school community connect with one another.In an effort to illustrate this collaborative atmosphere and show the confluence of music and modern technology, Rinaldi created a YouTube channel that provides additional teaching resources in a compelling manner. As part of the award, he was lauded for his "tireless efforts to make long-lasting personal connections with his students" and recognized for his work in producing a video competition that challenged students to play or sing the National Anthem, with the winner given the chance to perform each year at the school's graduation ceremony.