State Sen. Ernie Lopez, R-Lewes, has been named the winner of this year’s Legislative Leadership Award by the Delaware Charter Schools Network.
The award is given annually to legislators, state or national, who have demonstrated high levels of support for the charter school movement or education reform in general.
Kendall Massett, executive director of the DCSN, praised Lopez’s commitment to the children of Delaware.
“He’s been a tireless supporter of our schools since he’s been elected to office,” she said. “He really wants to understand the landscape and work toward a public school sector that meets the needs of all children. This is not just about charter schools, this is about all schools.”
Lopez represents the 6th Senatorial District, which includes all or parts of Lewes, Milton, Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach. He is a member of the General Assembly’s Senate Education Committee and a specialist with the University of Delaware, working with children in the 4-H unit of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
He is also a parent of two children in Delaware public schools.
“This award means a great deal to me, not just as a public policy maker, but as a parent with two young children in our local schools,” he said. “I’ve worked hard in the Senate to build consensus and best practices into our efforts to make sure we give Delaware parents and children the best educational options possible. The heavy lifting continues and I look forward to more bipartisan work with my colleagues toward this effort.”
While Lopez says he is optimistic about public education in Delaware, he adds that educators, elected officials and parents can never be satisfied.
“We have incredible teachers in this state and I am so thankful for the work they do every day. Families value excellence in education and going forward, I want to make sure our teachers know that we have their backs as they work to instill knowledge and values into our children. That being said, as parents we need to do our part also and as policy makers we need to listen.”
Lopez received his award Oct. 9 at the 3rd annual IDEA (Innovation, Dedication, Education, & Admiration) Awards ceremony in Newark.