We’re incredibly excited to announce the finalists for The Succeeds Prize 2020, the most prestigious awards and recognition event for Colorado’s educators. The finalists have been selected for their exemplary education programs that, in alignment with Vision 2030, are developing agile learners and preparing students to thrive in an everchanging world.
Finalists for the Transformational Impact in an Elementary School Award, sponsored by TTEC
Vega Collegiate Academy, Aurora Public Schools
Vega focuses on “joy” as a core value and leaders are intentional about creating an environment of comfort, acceptance, and humor, while setting high expectations for students. They have some of the highest growth scores in the state in math and reading, while serving a high number of students eligible for free and reduced-priced lunch and a diverse immigrant community. They focus on “real world” learning, providing an educational experience supporting the whole child.
Wyatt Academy, Denver Public Schools
Wyatt is a community school in the Cole neighborhood of Denver that uses the voices of parents and families to identify the needs of students. They have invested in unique wrap-around partnerships to offer resources like a food bank, laundromat, and clothing store, and they provide advocacy training to parents. Wyatt focuses on experiential learning and encourages students to “wonder,” using their own questions to drive their learning. Wyatt has also achieved had high growth scores in DPS.
Finalists for the Transformational Impact in a Middle School Award, sponsored by DaVita
Beacon Network Schools, Denver Public Schools
Beacon Network serves students in Southwest Denver as part of an Innovation Zone. They focus on personalized learning and encourage the development of various competencies through built-in enrichment programs, offering over 50 different courses each quarter, from arts and culture to STEM. Their Innovation Zone status allows them to take advantage of flexibilities like school-based budgeting, staffing, and scheduling, to best meet the needs of students.
Mesa Middle School, Douglas County Public Schools
Through a partnership with Microsoft, Mesa students are connecting with students from across the globe and problem solving in a global classroom. Connecting their work to the UN Sustainability goals, students are building critical empathy and entrepreneurial skillsets. Mesa uses project-based learning focused on addressing real-world problems, while developing a strong command of technology to prepare students for careers and lifelong learning.
Finalists for the Transformational Impact in a High School Award, sponsored by Slalom
MiLL National Training Center, Peyton and Widefield School Districts
The Manufacturing Industry Learning Lab (MiLL) is one of Colorado’s leading examples of what it looks like to eliminate silos between school districts and offer students career exploration and skill acquisition in high school. A unique collaboration between Peyton and Widefield school districts in Colorado Springs, the MiLL offers career-connected learning in manufacturing and construction, equipping students with essential skills in creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem-solving, communication and collaboration, and more.
Northglenn High School STEM, Adams 12 School District
Northglenn uses problem-based learning and design thinking in STEM and related subjects to help students develop 21st century skills. Students explore and learn through hands-on projects and solutions-oriented problem solving made possible through connections with industry partners, like CenturyLink and the P-TECH program. Through these experiences, students grow to understand their interests, explore real-world problems, and develop both hard and soft skills.
Finalists for the Excellence in Education Innovation Award, sponsored by Janus Henderson Investors
Cherry Creek Innovation Campus, Cherry Creek School District
CCIC is available to all high school students in the district, allowing them to explore both college and career pathways and develop personal, academic, and entrepreneurial competencies. They allow students to explore their passions, while also providing them a pathway to credential attainment. Their vision, Innovation through Collaboration, comes alive in a setting that mimics workplace learning environments and stays at the cutting edge of industry needs through collaboration with industry and higher education institutions.
Lake County School District, Leadville
Located in a small, rural community, Lake County School District has undergone a transformative turnaround effort over the past eight years to ensure once failing schools are now offering students an array of high-quality learning opportunities. They strive to provide every student with experiential learning and concurrent enrollment offerings, while focusing on their own continuous improvement process. Through the Turnaround GPS program, they have served as a model of innovation for other districts in the state and region.
Finalists for the Excellence in STEM Education Award, sponsored by Ball Corporation
Montrose County School District RE-1J, Montrose
Montrose focuses on experiential and problem-based learning and is dedicated to helping all students develop the key competencies they will need for the future of work. They have partnered with the Montrose Economic Development Corporation and local community partners to allow students to use STEM principles in cross-curricular ways and are leveraging new graduation guidelines to allow students to complete capstones, obtain industry credentials, and participate in concurrent enrollment.
Springs Studio for Academic Excellence and Pikes Peak Early College, District 49
SSAE is preparing students for their future with a unique design that is more like a college environment than a traditional high school. They offer students opportunities to learn both online and in-person, truly exemplifying the “future of learning,” where students discover how to advocate for themselves and are given the responsibility to own their own education. SSAE partners with Pikes Peak early College to provide multiple learning systems, creating opportunities for students to demonstrate competency, while also utilizing concurrent enrollment to create post-secondary pathways.
Finalists for the Excellence in Technology Enabled Learning Award, sponsored by Arrow Electronics
Lone Star School District, Otis
Lone Star is one of Colorado’s leading examples of what it looks like to focus on outcomes, not inputs, and take a student-centered approach to education. Though the district is small, the quality of instruction and the care teachers and staff give to students drives many students to “choice” into the district from as far as 40 miles away. They offer concurrent enrollment, are establishing a badge program to ensure students receive credit for essential skills, as well as integrating capstones, computer science offerings, and upskilling for teachers.
The CUBE High School, Denver Public Schools
The CUBE imagines a world that is centered on students and their interests, while connecting them to the skills they need to realize their full potential. At the CUBE, “learning happens everywhere,” and sourcing knowledge from students’ own experiences and passions is a key part of successful engagement, allowing them to create curriculum and projects custom fit for their students. As one example, their computer science program aims to highlight the career connections needed to build the future innovations in the workplace, not just meet the current demands.
$15,000 will be awarded to the winner in each category and $5,000 will be given to each runner-up – a total of $120,000 to these programs to support their innovative work. Winners will be announced through a televised program in September.
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