January 19, 2011: The charter school movement is dependent upon the hard work of visionary founders, leaders, and authorizers, plus dedicated teachers and volunteers and inspired students. The Association is proud to recognize several of them this month.
Steven Holguin has been named one of 38 Community Builders in the Inland Empire, who all "share a belief and a common goal towards building better communities." Holguin serves as the Executive Director, and is in the development process of launching "212 Degree Schools", which is an organization dedicated to creating high quality, leadership based, college prep charter high schools throughout the Inland Empire. The first 212 Degree School is planned to open its' doors to 150 freshmen in August 2011. Holguin is the Regional Director of School Development for the California Charter Schools Association, covering San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. While serving as the Regional Liaison to the 56 active charter schools in the Inland Empire, Holguin facilitates the training of teams of educators who are committed to launching high quality charter schools.
Albert Einstein Academy Charter Middle School (AEACMS) had a 62 point increase on their API score, up to 855. This was the fifth largest API increase among middle schools in the entire San Diego County. An authorized International Baccalaureate World School, AEACMS is eligible for applying for CA Distinguished Schools status.
A team of sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students from Magnolia Science Academy (MSA) #3 in Carson received first place with their engineering invention in a challenge organized by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The school's NASA Team created a device that moves an officially-supplied ping-pong ball from near the ground and causes the ball to touch and hold against a ceiling located 2.0 meters above the ground. The MSA team's device accomplished this task in the fastest time, "catapulting" them ahead of 260 students from 16 schools competing in the event.
Timothy Strauch, who teaches at Gateway's Community Outreach Academy, a charter school in Sacramento County, was named Teacher of the Month December 2010 by ABC News10. The former Disney employee is known for eliciting laughs in his fourth grade class. Read the News10 profile of Strauch, or watch their video piece on him, here.
Sebastopol's Reach Charter School won a $10,000 Bright Ideas grant from PG&E to pursue a long-term monitoring project on a local waterway. The funds will be used by the fourth-through-eighth-grade school to upgrade equipment used to monitor the Atascadero Creek watershed.
Students from Environmental Charter High School in Lawndale will represent California and the United States at the first ever Algalita Marine Research Foundation's Plastics Are Forever International Youth Summit. To be eligible for the summit, which takes place in March, high school students were asked to submit ideas for green projects tackling plastic pollution in their communities. Ultimately, 100 students were chosen from 14 countries - the United States, Kenya, Colombia, Guam, Chile, Tanzania, Zambia, England, Indonesia, Uganda, India, Bahamas, Canada and Italy.
Sharon Waller of Gilroy Prep was named One of the "Top 10: Faces of Gilroy" by The Gilroy Dispatch. Waller, along with two colleagues, "won the Gilroy Unified School District over" and "Gilroy Prep was given the green light amid applause and handshakes in November." Read all about the "Faces of Gilroy" here.
The issuance of $12 million direct subsidy qualified school construction bonds by the California School Finance Authority to fund construction of a K-8 charter school facility located on the Chula Vista campus of High Tech High was recognized by The Bond Buyer, a very respected and influential media outlet for those working in the bond sector. The awards recognized eleven out of approximately 12000 municipal bond deals closed last year. High Tech High was one of two winners in the Far West region.