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Great Hearts Raises More Than $500,000 for Teacher Excellence Fund after Successful Telethon Event
By Kwyn Johnson - Tuesday Nov 17, 2020
Great Hearts Academies is proud to announce that it raised over $500,000 to benefit their annual Teacher Excellence Fund, which provides bonus compensation for Great Hearts teachers across Arizona every December. In addition to charitable support from individual donors throughout 2020, Great Hearts held its first-ever telethon on Saturday, September 19 to raise money for the Fund. The event, which was livestreamed across Great Hearts’ YouTube, Facebook and other platforms, received donations from more than 800 parents, community partners, and organizations.

The Telethon was launched in response to the postponement of the annual Great Hearts Gala due to the current pandemic. The telethon was the primary fundraising vehicle for this year’s annual Teacher Excellence Fund, giving Great Hearts Academies the opportunity to reward the Arizona teachers who worked harder than ever this year, transitioning to distance learning and overcoming other obstacles created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds will be distributed to teachers in their upcoming December payroll.

Highlights from the telethon included a student poetry recitation, live faculty and student musical performances, a mascot competition between all Arizona prep academies and individual academy highlights.

“We are humbled by the kindness and generosity of the individuals and businesses that support our incredible Great Hearts Arizona teachers,” said Erik Twist, Arizona president of Great Hearts. “This year has been extremely difficult for our teachers because of the pandemic but the talent, resilience and compassion of our teachers is revealed every day both in the classroom and online. They deserve our recognition now more than ever, and we are grateful to our community for participating and giving in this year’s telethon fundraiser.”

Last year, $525,467 was raised for the 2019 Teacher Excellence Fund, which provided 578 Great Hearts Arizona teachers with bonus compensation in December 2019.

The Teacher Excellence Fund bonus awards are distributed every December and are tied to performance, based on Headmaster teaching observations of both synchronous learning and recorded videos, excellence in the classroom and overall commitment to Great Hearts’ core purpose in serving students.

The Telethon was made possible thanks to the following generous sponsors: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Liberty Buick/GMC, Arizona Bank and Trust, R. W. Baird and Co., Buck Financial, Fester & Chapman, JP Griffin Group, DEPCOM Power, and Coffin and Trout Fine Jewelers.

Great Hearts is a nonprofit network of tuition-free public charter schools dedicated to improving education nationwide through classical preparatory K-12 academies. There are 22 schools and 14,000 students throughout Phoenix. More information can be found at

About Great Hearts Academies
Great Hearts is a nonprofit network of tuition-free public charter schools dedicated to improving education nationwide through classical preparatory K-12 academies. As the largest provider of liberal arts classical education campuses in the country, Great Hearts Academies serve more than 22,000 students at 30 tuition-free public schools in greater Phoenix, Ariz., San Antonio, Irving, and Ft. Worth, TX, with waitlists that typically exceed enrollment. Great Hearts provides a robust liberal arts curriculum incorporating advanced math and science, a focus on the arts and foreign language, and a range of extra-curricular activities and athletics. Learn more at