Charter School’s Chan, County’s Ingwerson Get Education Award

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Yvonne Chan, the tireless director of the Vaughn Next Century Learning Center, is one of three educators to receive the McGraw Prize in Education, a $25,000 national award given to individuals who have made a meaningful impact on all levels of education.

Donald Ingwerson, superintendent of Los Angeles County’s Office of Education, also was recognized for implementing reforms similar to those that won him national recognition when he headed a school district in Kentucky. Colorado Gov. Roy Romer also received the award.

Chan, 51, was selected for making “significant contributions to the advancement of knowledge through education” at her Pacoima school through various programs, according to McGraw Prize officials.


“By recognizing the accomplishments of these individuals we also recognize the need for other strong leaders to emerge who will help shape the future of education in America,” Joseph L. Dionne, chairman and CEO of the McGraw-Hill Cos., said in a written statement.

Over the past six years, Chan has revived Vaughn from once being known for having the lowest-achieving pupils in the San Fernando Valley to a school with improved attendance and test scores. In 1993 she directed Vaughn’s effort to become one of the first charter schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Chan’s seemingly limitless energy and devotion to promoting Vaughn has kept the school--and herself--in the news, most recently as one of the LAUSD’s first schools to shrink first- and second-grade classes to a 20-to-1 student-teacher ratio.

Chan was on vacation and could not be reached for comment. Officials at Vaughn said she attended the awards ceremony Tuesday night in Washington, D.C.