Alumni in the News: GTEP alumna wins national NEA award
Author: Graduate School of Education
Posted: September 16, 2013

“Everything I do, I do it for the next generation.”—Susan Bartley, 2013

GTEP alumna, Susan Bartley, MEd ’03, has received the Councill Trenholm Memorial Award by the National Education Association as part its 2013 Human and Civil Rights Awards. She received the honor at a gala event in Atlanta, Georgia, on July 2, 2013

Ms. Bartley is a teacher at Franklin High School in Portland, and is the Advanced Scholar Program Coordinator and an AP English Teacher. She created the Franklin Advance Scholars program to prepare her students for college.

According to her peers, she has a uniquely successful way of connecting with minority and first generation students.

“There are a lot of great teachers in Oregon,” says Gail Rasmussen, President of the Oregon Education Association. “But even among them, Susan stands out. She gets students to believe in themselves, to have the confidence to succeed.”

 Ms. Bartley is focused on making sure they succeed; often holding lunch-time pizza meetings for Black and Latino students to review their college admissions applications. She arranged for eight Reed College students to help tutor her students in writing after school. She collaborated with the local nonprofit, Literary Arts, to bring their Writers in the Schools program to Franklin and launched the College Essay Mentoring Project.

In creating the Advanced Scholar Program at Franklin, she has had astounding success in enlisting her students to apply to college. This is remarkable in that many of Franklin’s students come from poor families, speak languages other than English at home and will be the first in their families to enter higher education. There are 400 students at Franklin and roughly one third are in her program. As a result of Ms. Bartley’s work, 100 percent of her students have been accepted to college, and 90 percent of those have chosen four-year schools.

“I have had a front row seat as a parent of an African-American child in Susan Bartley’s AP English class,” said Franklin Principal Shay James. “I am grateful to her for the critical thinking skills she has helped develop with my child, the confidence she has fostered, and the expectation to push a little more that she instilled.”

Ms. Bartley believes that even though America has made great strides in achieving equality, we aren’t there yet. “Together we must redesign our system to engage every child!”