Thursday, August 13, 2009

2009 Inspiration Awards Go to Schools in California, Mississippi and Texas

NEW YORK — Three exceptional high schools have been named College Board 2009 Inspiration Award winners for improving their academic environment and helping underserved students achieve equitable access to higher education. Each winning school will receive a $25,000 award, and each of the two honorable mention schools will receive $1,000 to apply toward programs that encourage students to attend college.

Remarking on today’s announcement, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said, “At a time when higher standards and increased college readiness have become critical to our nation’s future, it is encouraging to know that these Inspiration schools provide a wonderful example for all of us as we work to reform our education system. Congratulations to these schools, their principals, their teachers and their students for this tremendous success. They show us what is possible.”

The 2009 Inspiration Award-winning schools are:

  • Hidalgo Early College High School, Hidalgo, Texas
  • Riverdale High School, Riverdale, Calif.
  • William B. Murrah High School, Jackson, Miss.

The College Board will honor each of the schools at special inspirational assemblies attended by administrators, faculty, students and parents. On May 6, College Board Senior Vice President Peter Negroni will present a 2009 Inspiration Award to Hidalgo Early College High School. On May 12, he will present an award to Riverdale High School. Then on May 14, College Board President Gaston Caperton will present the third Inspiration Award to William B. Murrah High School.

The Inspiration Awards celebrate America’s most improved high schools. These schools create a culture in which success in the classroom is “cool”; they help their students acquire self-confidence and the skills necessary not only to gain admission to college but to succeed on campus. Winning secondary schools demonstrate significant and consistent growth across the entire student population in the number of students taking rigorous courses and the percentage of graduates accepted to institutions of higher education. 

In announcing the winners, College Board President Gaston Caperton said, “We are delighted to honor the 2009 Inspiration Award schools. They have made a difference in their communities and in the lives of their students. Because of the unique programs they have created, teachers, parents, community organizations and local businesses have come together to help students graduate from high school and go on to college.”

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