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OPPY Award Winner 2012, Luis Soria

After tutoring young children while in high school, Luis Soria dreamed of becoming an educator. He attended Loyola University on a full scholarship for a year. When his father was suddenly killed in a car accident, he left his university studies and did factory work to financially support his mother and siblings. Determined to achieve his degree in education, he attended classes in the evenings and summers. After twelve years, Luis completed his bachelors degree in education and became a teacher. Since then he has served children as a teacher, Bilingual Lead Teacher, Reading Coach, Mathematics and Science Coach, and principal. He has been principal at Mitchell Elementary School for the past 6 years.

Luis was the first Latino in Chicago to achieve National Board Certification in 2000. He has since mentored over 25 candidates to also achieve certification, including eight teachers at Mitchell School. In 2010, he renewed his National Board Certification.

Luis diligently serves his teachers, providing rigorous professional development. His teachers, as well as he, have applied for and won more Teacher Incentive Grants than any other CPS school.

As a classroom teacher he has received numerous grants, awards and honors including the Kohl McCormick Early Childhood Teacher Award. Luis was a Smithsonian Institute Teacher Network Fellow and a Teachers Network Policy Institute Fellow. He appears in the book "What Award-Winning Teachers Do When School Rules Change." From 2002 to 2005 he served as a board member of two organizations serving youth.