I nominate Rachel Bennett, who began Phoenix Collegiate Academy in South Phoenix in 2009. Graduating with a Bachelors’ Degree from Georgetown University and a Masters Degree from ASU, Rachel began her teaching career with Teach for America, a program placing teachers in schools populated with low income students. Rachel taught four years in the Roosevelt School District. Rachel became aware of the underlying culture of low expectations for area students. She recognized the disparity in educational opportunities and achievement for South Mountain and Laveen children (where most students qualify for free or reduced lunch). In July 2009, having not reached her 30th birthday, she opened Phoenix Collegiate Academy to 70 sixth graders. Its mission is to “prepare every student to succeed in college and be leaders in our community.” The next year a seventh grade was added; and the school size doubled. Over the next three to five years, PCA will expand its population to full capacity, serving 800+ students in grades six through twelve; Rachel pledges to recruit only highly qualified, experienced teachers. The school culture and curriculum, which Rachel has shaped, incorporates ethics, enrichment, service, and leadership. She has created an extensive set of rules for students that teach productive, respectful behaviors. With a longer school day (from 7:30 – 4:00) students are given extensive support to move forward in their education and to fill in the gaps that were created in their prior education. The school offers free enrichment programs, taught by community volunteers, in areas like art, drama, engineering, and sports. Each day Rachel greats each student, shaking their hand, checking to see if they are prepared for a day of learning and that they are professionally attired (in the school’s uniform). In addition to providing an exemplary education, Rachel has initiated a number of efforts at PCA to ensure young female students are involved in school in positive ways. Rachel's capabilities, dedication, creativity, passion and sheer determination are an inspiration and role model for her students and associates. From leading morning assembly cheers, holding everyone accountable, helping students reflect on unproductive behavior, she is the embodiment of the PCA values: Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Discipline, and Excellence.