The Orleans Public Education Network highlighted innovators and exemplars in selecting the winners of the 2015 OPEN Public Education Awards, which were presented Nov. 14.

The Enduring Impact Award went to Jay Altman and Anthony Recasner, founders of the New Orleans Charter Middle School.

The Distinguished Product of New Orleans Public Schools Award went to Calvin Mackie, founder of STEM NOLA.

“OPEN is so proud to celebrate the innovators of our public school system. It is my hope that telling these untold stories will shine a light on what we should be thinking about in the future of public education in our city and across the nation,” said Deirdre Johnson Burel, OPEN’s executive director. “The honorees stand as exemplars of looking to the future while building on the lessons of the past.”

Morris Jeff Community School was honored for its innovative approach to school design and delivery.

Mahalia Jackson Elementary School was honored for its innovative approach to early childhood integration, bridging the gap between little school and big school.

The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts was honored for exemplary arts education.

Benjamin Franklin High School was honored for excellence in high school achievement.

The Silverback Society was honored as an outstanding community partner.

The International School of Louisiana was honored for exemplary language immersion education.

The New Orleans Job Corps Center and Youth Empowerment Project were honored for adult and opportunity youth education. Opportunity youth are young adults, ages 16-24, who are neither in school nor working.