Pendleton teacher's class receives national innovation award

PENDLETON SCHOOL DISTRICT NEWS RELEASE -- Pendleton High School's Success 101 class for freshmen has been awarded a bronze medal by Academic Innovations for its potential impact on dramatically lowering dropout rates while preparing students for a self-sufficient adulthood. PHS's Success 101 teacher Nicole Stewart will receive the award on behalf of the school during Academic Innovations' national awards luncheon in Los Angeles, Calif., on July 22. This is the first time an Oregon school has been honored by Academic Innovations.

Success 101 is an interdisciplinary curriculum that engages students and teachers in an interactive learning process that helps students to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to successfully examine their own lives, explore and evaluate a wide range of education and career options, and make reasoned and researched goals for their futures. All freshmen at PHS are required to complete the Success 101 course, and in doing so, receive college credits from Eastern Oregon University through the Eastern Promise program.

Academic Innovations was founded in 1990 and is best known for its nationally-acclaimed Career Choices curriculum, cutting-edge technology, and teacher professional development. Stewart completed a rubric designed to help Academic Innovations recognize educational teams whose Career Choices programs - such as Success 101 at PHS - are being developed and implemented in a way that could potentially lower the dropout rate in their school and prepare students for a self-sufficient adulthood.

The program began at PHS in the 2012-2013 school year, and has since expanded to Hawthorne Alternative High School. The class was born out of a school board initiative to increase student achievement in 2012. Other school districts in the region have also implemented the Success 101 program this year.

"We are fortunate to have Nicole Stewart in the Pendleton School District and a school board that is forward-thinking and supportive of students," said Tricia Mooney, Assistant Superintendent for the Pendleton School District. "The class provides skills that benefit all students as they begin their high school careers, and ultimately supports students in moving towards the goals the Governor has set in 40-40-20."