Hobart and William Smith Colleges - HWS Alums Awarded Excellence in Education Awards
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HWS Alums Awarded Excellence in Education Awards

Educators Alta Markley ’17 and Alexandra Belden ’15 have received the Success Academy’s Excellence in Education Awards for their work as teachers with the charter school network.

Markley, a First Grade Lead Teacher at SA Bronx 2, won an Excellence Award for Achievement, which recognizes teachers whose students perform at the highest academic level based on academic data and who meet school culture goals.

“Hobart and William Smith’s courses allowed me to explore many facets of education — from child psychology and social psychology to special education. This ultimately impacted my decision to teach at SA today,” Markley says.

At the Colleges, Markley majored in psychology with a minor in Hispanic Studies. She volunteered as a tutor with America Reads and America Counts and was a member of the Health Promotions Club and served as an EcoRep.

At SA Harlem 1, Belden works as a Special Education Manager and assists in overseeing and managing the special education process to ensure students are receiving necessary services for their academic achievement. She won an ETHOS award, which recognizes school staff who best demonstrated Success Academy’s community values of excellence, teamwork, humor, ownership and scholarship.

Alta Markley '17 (left) and Alexandra Belden '15 received Success Academy's Excellence in Education awards.

Alta Markley ’17 (left) and Alexandra Belden ’15 received Success Academy’s Excellence in Education awards.

“Hobart and William Smith encouraged lifelong learning — to constantly investigate and ask questions,” Belden says. “Because of the experience I had there, I felt it more important than ever to work in education and encourage this same ideology in kids.”

Belden studied psychology and anthropology at the Colleges, and later earned a master of arts in forensic psychology at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice before joining Success Academy as an Education Coordinator in 2017.

Success Academy is New York City’s largest and highest performing charter school network, made up of 45 public charter schools that serve 18,000 K-12 students in underserved neighborhoods. Every year, Success Academy honors educators who have demonstrated exceptional talent and commitment to teaching and providing their students with educational opportunity.