Lynn resident Shauna Mulligan, a ninth-grade English teacher at KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate High School, was named one of 10 recipients of the Harriett Ball Excellence in Teaching Award by the Know-ledge Is Power Program, a national charter school network.
The award was presented at the annual four-day KIPP School Summit, held July 29-Aug. 1 in Las Vegas.
Mulligan also received $10,000 in recognition for her work with KIPP. Winners of the Ball award, named for the teacher who had helped inspire the funding for the first KIPP School in 1994, were selected from among hundreds nominated by school leaders, who drew from a pool of more than 3,000 teachers from 141 schools across the country.
“I was completely surprised. I had no idea,” Mulligan said of receiving the award.
According to a statement from KIPP Massachusetts, Mulligan’s teaching has had a substantial effect on her students. Last year, Mulligan helped 96 freshmen rise from the 56th to the 71st percentile in the ACT test, which indicates college and career readiness for high school graduates. In addition, 84 percent of students also met the independent reading goals set by Mulligan with her classes at the beginning of the school year.
According to the KIPP website, the Lynn school currently has 200 students enrolled in the ninth and 10 grades, and the school will expand to include 11th and 12th grades. Among current students, 22 percent are African-American; 63 percent are Latino; and 85 percent meet income eligibility guidelines to receive free or reduced lunch.
Born in Maine, Mulligan realized her love for teaching while attending the University of Vermont. “Education is the social justice topic of our time,” she said. “We have the opportunity to help some of the social inequities that face our country and I want to be part of that. I see my work as trying to close the achievement gap.”
To see Mulligan in the classroom, go to her video on YouTube.Juan E. Cajigas Jimenez can be reached at juan.cajigasjimenez