08/18/2014 02:42 pm ET Updated Oct 18, 2014

Thirty-three Schools Named "Schools of Distinction"

College For Every Student (CFES), a global leader in helping underserved students get to and through college and ready to enter the workforce, is honoring 33 schools in nine states and Ireland as "Schools of Distinction" for raising aspirations and creating high levels of college readiness for their students.

The "School of Distinction" award recognizes CFES schools that have exemplary programs incorporating the three CFES core practices: Mentoring, Leadership through Service, and Pathways to College. These schools provide intensive exposure to the three practices and promote college readiness for all students.

The 2013-2014 "Schools of Distinction:"

  • Brooklyn Institute for Liberal Arts, Brooklyn, NY
  • Cloonan Middle School, Stamford, CT
  • Crown Point Central School, Crown Point, NY
  • Delta Opportunity High School, Delta, CO
  • Diehl Elementary School, Erie, PA
  • Dole Middle School, Honolulu, HI
  • Edison Elementary School, Erie, PA
  • Eximius College Preparatory Academy, Bronx, NY
  • Frakes Elementary School, Frakes, KY
  • Frederick Douglass Elementary School, Cincinnati, OH
  • Jackson Independent School, Jackson, KY
  • James B. Castle High School, Kaneohe, HI
  • Keeseville Elementary School, Keeseville, NY
  • King Elementary School, Kansas City, MO
  • Life Sciences Secondary School, New York, NY
  • Lincoln Elementary School, Delta, CO
  • Lone Jack School Center, Fourmile, KY
  • Mulberry Middle School, Mulberry, FL
  • North Laurel High School, London, KY
  • North Laurel Middle School, London, KY
  • Olathe Middle/High School, Olathe, CO
  • Owen D. Young Central School, Van Hornesville, NY
  • Right Fork School Center, Stoney Fork, KY
  • Sebastian Middle School, Jackson, KY
  • South Laurel High School, London, KY
  • South Laurel Middle School, London, KY
  • St. Joseph's Secondary School, Dublin, Ireland
  • Peru Central School, Peru, NY
  • Plattsburgh High School, Plattsburgh, NY
  • Ticonderoga Middle School, Ticonderoga, NY
  • Willsboro Central School, Willsboro, NY
  • Wilson Middle School, Erie, PA
  • Withrow University High School, Cincinnati, OH


Attaining "School of Distinction" status recognizes a successful year-long journey to build college readiness school-wide.

"This year's award winners have developed some of the best activities we've seen in the last five years," said Steve Boyce, who leads the "School of Distinction" program.

Through end-of-the-year portfolios and final reports, photos, statistics, writing samples, schools document the impact and power of their work.

"These award-winning schools are not only helping their Scholars become college ready, they're also lifting up schools across the country and beyond by sharing their best practices," said CFES President & CEO Rick Dalton.

Here are examples of activities developed by award-winning schools:

Hi-Impact Mentoring & Role Models (Cloonan Middle School, CT)

Sixth graders at Cloonan Middle School met weekly with their mentors from corporations, colleges and the community. Sessions focused on goal setting, identifying and overcoming academic challenges, participating in extracurricular activities, learning about college and career options, and developing essential skills for college. To benefit the entire school, CFES leaders developed the Scholar Power Speaker Series that featured role models from diverse professions and backgrounds that gave firsthand accounts of their paths to colleges and professions, as well as the challenges and joys of being a leader.

Hawaii Students Build School-wide Culture of College (Castle High School, HI)

In a totally student-led initiative, Castle created a college-going culture by sponsoring t-shirt days where educators wore shirts from their alma maters, a college door decorating contest, a day for alumni to share their college experiences with Castle students, and how-to-pay for college workshops. In addition, students sponsored a fair that brought in representatives from 18 colleges, culminating in a treasure hunt where students gathered college facts from the event.

Adirondack Students Rally for College (Crown Point Central School, NY)

Crown Point's student leadership team organized an afternoon of fun to rally their grade 7-12 peers around college. In between the chorus of 100 student voices shouting "College For Every Student," Scholars met with a dozen college representatives who shared admissions strategies and learned about campus life. The crowd participated in zumba and listened to a professional singer/songwriter who sang and talked about the importance of a college education: "So many doors will be opened for you because of the people you meet and the education you receive in college. Make it happen!"