2013 Statewide Charter Conference

INCS 2013 Statewide Charter School Conference was a tremendous success! More than 600 charter public school supporters gathered over two and a half days and engaged in  meaningful discussions on the state of charter public schools and how we can collectively work together to improve public education for all students.


Check out all the Twitter buzz from the conference on our Storify page!


Check out photos from all the conference action in our Facebook photo album. You can also watch videos of INCS President Andrew Broy and keynote speaker Dr. Howard Fuller's remarks, and a special video message from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to Illinois charter schools, by clicking on the photos above!

2013 Charter Excellence Awards

The Illinois Charter Excellence Awards honor outstanding individuals who have demonstrated achievement, passion and innovation within the Illinois charter school community. This year’s honorees were nominated by their peers, colleagues, school leaders and teachers and were selected from more than 50 nominations. Congratulations to all the truly deserving honorees! We are so proud of all your hard work and achievements!


  • Charter School Lifetime Achievement: David Weinberg, Board Chair, INCS and the Noble Network of Charter Schools

  • Charter Pioneer: Tim King, Founder, President and CEO, Urban Prep Academies

  • Illinois Charter Innovator: Principal Nicole Feinberg, Asian Human Services – Passages

  • Illinois Charter School Champion: Mayor Lawrence J. Morrissey, City of Rockford

  • Illinois Classroom Hero: Paige Zeigler, Quest Charter Academy, Peoria

  • Charter Advocate: Daniel Anello, Chief of Strategy, CICS Charter Network

  • Outstanding Illinois Charter Senior:

    • Ian Katiki, Southland College Prep, Richton Park

    • Jocelyne Martinez, Aspira Early College

    • Kristopher Coachman, Noble – Johnson College Prep

    • Starr Gibson, SIUE East St. Louis Charter High School

    • Michelle Lopez, Chicago Math and Science Academy

  • Outstanding 8th Grader:

    • Oscar Bahena, UNO – Bartolome de las Casas

    • Isabella Blankers – LEARN North Chicago


Conference Reference Materials

Reference materials from sessions and speakers at the 2013 conference.

  • INCS President Andrew Broy's State of the Charter Sector powerpoint (click here)

  • Key takeaways from all breakout sessions on Data (click here)

  • Seth Andrew, founder, Democracy Prep Public Schools' power point (click here)

Speaker Highlights

“In the last two decades, charter schools have had some extraordinary accomplishments. Topping the list of those accomplishments is that high-performing charters continue to demonstrate that low income children can and do achieve at high levels.” – U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (via video message)

"Charter schools are part of creating educated citizens and part of a development strategy for my community.” – Alderman William Burns, 4th Ward, City of Chicago

"At the end of the day, as a parent, all we want for our children is success and opportunity."Mayor Larry Morrissey, City of Rockford

"To succeed in college you must have the attitude that you can get it done. Never feel sorry for yourself." – Mawi Asgedom, President, Mawi Learning and author of the book Of Beetles & Angles: A Boy’s Remarkable Journey from a Refugee Camp to Harvard

"The problem with public education is that the focus has not been on student achievement, but on adult employment." – Greg White, President and CEO, LEARN Charter School Network

Raising the rigor bar for students doesn’t cost a penny!” – Seth Andrew, Founder and Superintendent, Democracy Prep Public Schools

"Compromise is not defeat. Without compromise, the charter movement would never have gotten started."Ember Reichgott Junge, former Minnesota State Senator and pioneer of the first charter school law

“The students we serve are the pioneers. We are simply the people walking with them during the struggle.” – Tim King, Founder, President and CEO, Urban Prep Academies


Save-the-Date for the 2014 Conference

Save-the-Date! INCS 2014 Statewide Charter School Conference will be held on November 3 at the Downtown Marriott Magnificent Mile hotel.



INCS 2013 Statewide Charter School Conference

Renewing Commitment, Reclaiming the Dream was our theme this year! We welcomed speakers, vendors and our school attendees from across Illinois as we worked together to grow achievement, share innovation and build community in the charter public school sector!