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Rocklin Academy executive director honored statewide

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Dr. David Patterson, executive director of Rocklin Academy, was given the annual Hart Vision Award during the California Charter Schools Association meeting in Sacramento on Tuesday. The Hart Vision Awards were established in 1995 in honor of Gary K. Hart, retired California State Senator and former California Secretary of Education. While serving as state senator, Hart sponsored the legislation that established California charter schools. The goals of the Hart Vision Awards are to recognize and honor annually individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and excellence in education. “David has been a leader in the charter school movement since its inception 20 years ago, first working at the California Department of Education, and eventually branching out to start Rocklin Academy in 2000,” said Jed Wallace, president and CEO of the association. “His love for quality education is unmatched, and he is a fearless leader, incredibly involved, and passionate about mentoring other charter leaders. Those qualities make him our Leader of the Year.” Dr. Patterson is the founder and executive director of Rocklin Academy and its three schools: Rocklin Academy Turnstone, which opened in 2000; Rocklin Academy Meyers Street, which opened in 2007; and Western Sierra Collegiate Academy, which opened in 2009. “I am truly honored to be receiving this award, especially this year, when charter schools have experienced so many difficulties, whether it’s related to the budget or facilities. To get this recognition is very humbling,” said Dr. Patterson. Prior to opening the Rocklin Academies, Dr. Patterson was director of Governmental Relations for the California Network of Educational Charters, which would eventually become the California Charter Schools Association. He has also served as an elected school board member in Del Paso Heights and Rocklin. “David has just one of those qualities that is rare, which is his trust in people. Whether it’s a colleague, a parent, a student, a co-worker, David empowers the people around him, and makes them feel part of the movement,” said Dr. Gary Hartman, founding principal of Rocklin Academy. Wendy Boyd, chair of the Rocklin Academy Board of Directors added: “His leadership has truly provided the opportunity to help start and lead the changes that are needed in public education, throughout our nation, not only in California. David has always stuck with his premise that all children deserve a quality education, and he has never wavered from that.” Past Hart Vision Charter Leader of the Year recipients include Cameron Curry from The Classical Academies in Escondido (2011); Dianne Tavenner from Summit Preparatory Academy in Redwood City (2010); and Sharon Weir from New West Charter School in Los Angeles (2009). The California Charters Schools Association has hosted the Charter Schools Conference for 19 years, offering resources, guidance, and advocacy support to a membership that has grown exponentially. The California Charter Schools Conference opened on Monday and will conclude on Thursday. Theme of this year’s conference is “You Are the Charter School Movement.” ~ Staff Report