Principal, Hickman High School
Tony Gragnani works to create more opportunities for his students, both in their classes and future careers.
Gragnani helped create the Hickman Community Scholars Program, a partnership between Hickman High School and the city of Columbia, which assists students who are at risk of dropping out of school. In addition, he helped the school form a partnership with the Boys & Girls Club, which provides students with resources like mentorship opportunities.
“The reason why I became a principal was because I believe an educated society is a better society,” Gragnani said.
When asked what it meant to be nominated for the Progress in Education award, Gragnani said, “It’s ... it’s humbling. It’s amazing. There are a lot of hardworking administrators, teachers, counselors. I mean, there are so many people in education that are working every day to provide a great educational experience for all of our students.”
Teacher, Battle High School
Lindsey Mirielli works with both students and their families to address out-of-school barriers and problems that can affect students and their success in classes.
Mirielli works to form a strong support system for her students as they begin to move from high school into their adult lives.
“I try my hardest to go into every interaction with a positive outlook on what’s happening and just listening to what they have to say, which most students don’t always get heard,” Mirielli said.
When asked about what it means to be recognized for the Progress in Education award, Mirielli said, “I’m really humbled ... I work with so many wonderful individuals that really deserve this as well, and everything I do, I couldn’t do without all of them.”