Desert Thunder School in Avondale Elementary School District, Arizona, received the 2023 NIET Founder’s Award and its $50,000 grand prize.
Principal Ryan LoMonaco and his leadership team are building the capacity of teachers through dedicated time for collaboration and school-based professional learning, creating a positive learning environment for teachers and students alike.
"As a seasoned educator but a leader new to this school in the past year, introducing NIET's recommendations into our approaches to education has allowed me to ask questions and see the curriculum in a new light," said LoMonaco. "As a result of investing time, effort, and resources into developing the professional capital of the staff and the distributed leadership at Desert Thunder, I have had the privilege of learning alongside my staff as we grow together."
“The power of recognition is one of the strongest forces for stimulating human and social action. Yes, recognition is a powerful motivator—to those who receive it as well as those who observe it.” - Lowell Milken