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Rita Nolan

citizen | 10/25/2011, 6 a.m.
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Rita Nolan, dedicated educator and future Principal of the Montessori School of Englewood. Photo Shonne Ehrhardt

Occupation: Executive Director of the Montessori Network

Why does she stand out?

Rita Nolan is in it to win it. Shes an Englewood teacher chosen as a Ryan Fellowship recipient because of her dedication and achievements as an educator. The Ryan fellowship is a prestigious program run by the Alain Locke Initiative that prepares strong educators to lead achievement-accelerated schools in urban areas. Nolan was selected from hundreds of applicants across the country for her exceptional performance as a teacher. Upon finishing the Ryan Fellowship program, she will be able to head a Charter/Montessori school.

Over the years, Nolan has volunteered with many organizations in the Englewood area including Teamwork Englewood, the Community Action Council of Englewood and also with Stagg Elementary school as a teaching intern.

Nolan will fulfill her goal of opening up her own Montessori school in 2012. She currently has a successful pilot version of the program running in Englewood and it already has 100 children on the waiting list.

I recognize each childs unique learning style and a Montessori school will address the achievement gap in urban education by providing stronger leaders and put an emphasis on hands on learning also. I want to listen to the community and get out their hopes and dreams for the school as well, Nolan said.