Rita Solnet of the Palm Beach County School District Academic Advisory Committee, former PTA president and co-founder of Parents Across America, is now a finalist for this year’s National Bammy Awards in the category of Parent Outreach.
Solnet has been a prolific activist in Florida on behalf of children, schools and parents. She works across demographics of race, class, gender and profession to connect and organize people toward achieving the greater good.
While working full time, Solnet volunteered in Palm Beach County schools for 16 years in leadership roles on SACs, PTAs or in coaching students on interview skills.
As a defender of students, she communicates frequently with leading policymakers locally, statewide and nationally, as well as keeping education at the forefront in the press. Her work is featured at Huffington Post and Education Next, and she has been published in the Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.
Solnet’s relentless drive to reach parents won her a coveted spot in the St. Petersburg Times’ Top Florida Political Tweeters list for six consecutive months and counting. Her extensive use of social media enables her to connect and inform many parents far and wide.
“Having been nominated by an individual whom I never met was an honor,” Solnet said. “I’m proud of all the parent activists in Florida. We work in lock step as a team utilizing everyone’s strengths and contributions to ensure our voices are heard and to ensure all children receive the highest quality education. I couldn’t be more proud of my Florida colleagues. This honor recognizes our work collectively, not mine.”
The Bammy Awards will be presented on Sept. 21 at a red-carpet event in Washington, D.C., by the Academy of Education Arts & Sciences International, which includes leading educators, education leaders, education professors, journalists, editors, researchers, commentators, advocates, activists, visionaries and pioneers.
The academy is comprised of a board of governors, a council of peers and the executive committee. “Nominees like Mrs. Solnet are making a difference in education every day. It’s more important now that ever to demonstrate what’s right with American education,” said Errol St. Clair Smith, executive producer of the Bammy Awards.
The Bammy Awards is a cross-discipline award that identifies and acknowledges the good work being done all across the education village. The awards were created in response to the tremendous national pressure on educators and education leaders to improve student outcomes, the impact of high-stakes accountability and the intense scrutiny that today’s educator’s face. The awards aim to foster cross-discipline recognition of the collective contributions being made to educate children, encourage collaboration in and across the various domains, elevate education and education successes in the public eye, and raise the profile and voices of the many undervalued and unrecognized people who are making a difference in the field.