Tiffany Ortego, a kindergarten lead teacher at One City Schools here in Madison, has been awarded the 2023 Changemaker in Education Award by the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools.
Ortego is one of seven 2023 Teacher Changemakers from across the United States that were identified by leaders in their states “as individuals who are going above and beyond to shape students’ lives for the better.” Ortego will receive her award at a special ceremony at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, May 10, 10 a.m., and will also participate in a panel discussion featuring all seven 2023 awardees and meet with members of Congress afterward.
“Tiffany has helped bring stability to our preschool team, particularly during the turbulent times all schools experienced during the height of COVID-19,” said Kaleem Caire, One City’s founder and CEO, in a statement. “She has embraced the innovations we are pursuing in our schools, and is a wonderful light for all of us who are lucky to work with her.”
Ortego is in her fifth year of teaching in early childhood education and third year as an educator at One City Schools, according to a press release from One City, and is loved by all her students, parents and team members. Ortego works together with her fellow staff to create an amazing classroom culture where students feel accepted, supported, and heard.
Among Ortego’s many contributions to One City Schools and its students, she helped create its Preschool Garden Space to engage children in agricultural learning and environmental stewardship. She oversees the implementation of the internationally acclaimed Anji-Play early childhood program in its 4K classrooms. She spearheaded the development of its 4K Volunteer Reading and Early Literacy program that prepares children to leave One City Preschool ready to succeed in 5-year-old kindergarten. Ortego is also leading One City’s effort to facilitate a smooth transition of One City’s 4K students to its 5K program, which is located in a separate education facility.
“Tiffany has been an amazing teacher for our children, and a wonderful partner to have on our team,” said Bryce Pickett, One City’s pres-school director. “She consistently goes above and beyond to bring new programming and learning opportunities to our students and families, and has pioneered successful initiatives at our preschool. She is the type of teacher that helps get others onboard with needed changes, and we appreciate her immensely for this.”