In 2014, TheBestSchools.org established the Escalante-Gradillas Prize for Best in Education. Winners of the prize exemplified the commitment to learning, discipline, character-building, and high expectations that characterized East L.A.'s Garfield High School when Jaime Escalante taught there and Henry Gradillas was its principal.
To celebrate that legacy of academic excellence, we awarded a yearly $10,000 prize to one outstanding K–12 teacher or school administrator, and also a $10,000 grant to the winner's school or district.
Winners of the Escalante-Gradillas Prize for Best in Education
2017 José Espinoza (Superintendent, Socorro Independent School District, El Paso Texas)
2016 Anthony Yom (Teacher, Abraham Lincoln High School, Los Angeles, California)
2015 Lisa Kaplan (Principal, Andrew Jackson School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
2014 Founding recipients Fabiola Escalante (wife of the late Jaime Escalante), Henry Gradillas, and Angelo Villavicencio (close colleague of Escalante).
I strongly believe that the role of principal gave me the opportunity to make the most significant difference in promoting student academic achievement, as well as promoting student belief in self-worth, a can-do-it attitude, and that there is no limit to what can be achieved. — Henry Gradillas
For more information about the educators who inspired this prize, check out our article about Jaime Escalante and our exclusive interview with Henry Gradillas. While you’re at it, be sure to read our interview with standout teacher and protégé of Jaime Escalante, Angelo Villavicencio.
If you’re a blogger or in the media, you may want to access our media files page for access to prize-related button, badge, and banner images.