Twenty Years Young

Mott Middle College (MMC), Flint, MI does it right, both in education and in celebration. In May, MMC celebrated its 20th anniversary with an afternoon and evening ceremony and reception. In addition to Principal Chery Wagonlander, the Superintendent of the Genesee ISD, the President of Mott Community College, President of the State School Board and the Executive Director of MCNC participated in the program. Parents and students were a vital part of the celebration. The MMC Concert Choir and the famous Steel Drum Band provided exciting musical tributes. Students in video production presented a documentary highlighting MCC and the new Associates Degree in film production. Dozens of alumni returned to help commemorate this accomplishment. At the celebration, MMC proudly announced the completion of its story, The Differences that Make a Difference. It will be available this summer on line and in print.

Twenty years does not just represent the passage of time, it represents change in both the school and in its students. The school that started as an experiment to help at-risk students finish high school now graduates students with college credits. In 17 graduating classes, students typically start with a D+ average and finish with a B average. In over 5,200 college courses completed, MMC students average a 2.9 GPA. Students no longer have the choice whether to take college classes — it is a requirement. This year six students, including 4 African American males, graduated with enough college credits to earn an associate’s degree.

According to Wagonlander, “It’s an all-school effort. Staff has specific training in working with their particular population. Skills and college knowledge are pre-learned and relearned individually and in seminars. It’s a slow process, you must learn to blow on the ice, because you can’t crack the ice. Our graduates have not only the credits, but an entire way of viewing their lives and their possibilities.”


Teacher Feature: Brittany Clark is a Teacher, Plus, Plus, Plus

Brittany and her resident Janessa Jordan at Prom

Brittany and her resident Janessa Jordan at Prom

Brittany Clark is an MCHS teacher, plus a college adjunct teaching Dual Enrollment English College, plus a Mentor Teacher with the Memphis Teacher Residency Program, plus a Teaching Policy Fellow working with teachers to have a voice in policy decisions that affect the teaching profession. Those could be viewed as four separate roles, but to Brittany they fit into the core of beliefs she has about improving results for students and teachers.

Before making the decision to teach in urban schools, she earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Rhodes College in Memphis and a Masters in Literary Linguistics from the University of Birmingham, England. She plans to begin her doctoral work in Education Policy or Literacy. Brittany Clark teaches 10th through 12th grade English, ACT prep, and Dual Enrollment Composition at Middle College High School at Christian Brothers University, Memphis, TN. Brittany has mentored teachers for the past two years through the Memphis Teacher Residency Program, and is also involved with The New Teacher Project as a consultant working with school districts around the country. At Middle College, Brittany has served as the English Department Chairperson and in-house New Teacher Mentor. In June 2010, she presented a workshop entitled, “Bridging the Gap Between High School and College.” at the Middle College National Consortium summer conference.

The dual-enrolled course she teaches, Composition 1010, takes the place of senior English. It is completely writing based, using inquiry and in depth research. Ms. Clark believes, “This prepares students for all the college disciplines and is therefore a more appropriate course for my students. AP courses also count as freshmen English, but those students don’t learn the necessary skills taught in freshman English.”

One of her favorite roles is that of a Mentor Teacher with Memphis Teacher Residency program. In this program, college graduates in a content area, commit to teaching full time in Memphis City Schools and are mentored for an entire year by a master teacher. Brittany feels that she can help beginning teachers with some insight into organizational systems and consistency with students. One example she cites is “to always have homework due on the same day of the week.” She recalled how hard the first year of teaching was. “I didn’t even know what questions to ask”. Still her work with the residents helps her reflective practice. “Having to explain why I do something in a certain way helps me be a better educator. My residents also bring a sense of vibrancy to the classroom and keep me up-to-date with new technologies such as downloading of videos to use in the classroom.” (Photo: Brittany and her resident Janessa Jordan at the prom)

MCHS Principal Michelle Armstrong has high praise. “Brittany and a number of other teachers in our building are really leading the way in terms of mentoring. We have had eight aspiring teachers move on to teaching positions through the Memphis Teacher Residency (MTR) program, which is an affiliate of the national Urban Teacher Residency Program. Given the small size of our high school, it has been a true compliment that MTR placed so many residents at our school in just two years. Brittany and Felicia Anthony have served as mentors for both years, and it has been amazing to watch them grow through their mentoring relationships. They are testaments to evolving as a teacher when you have to teach someone else what you do.”

It would seem that her schedule is already tightly packed, but Ms. Clark is also passionate about the Teach Plus network, a rapidly growing national movement of teachers who want to connect with highly-motivated peers and national and local policy leaders, learn about innovative policies to empower effective teachers, and be a voice for change within the teaching profession. The Memphis network began in October 2010 and has engaged over 200 teachers.

Ms. Clark became involved in Teach Plus because she perceived that teachers are always being told, “this is what’s happening”, and they didn’t understand what or why. This was then a chance to look deeply into the policies of the state and the district. Along with the federal “Race to the Top” funding came a new evaluation system. One goal of Teach Plus is to have teachers have a voice in the evaluation system. They wanted to collect data on what teachers were saying, something never done before. Teachers wanted to know how they were going to measure the teachers’ content knowledge. Would even those with masters degrees have to be re-examined? How much would student “value added” standardized tests be counted in evaluation and in teacher retention? How could the prior year results be used to motivate both students and teachers?

Her goal is to grow as a teacher and to develop leadership avenues that are not administrative. According to Principal Armstrong, Brittany is succeeding. “In addition to her mentoring, Brittany’s work with Teach Plus is really helping our building grow in our knowledge of how policy is affecting our work, specifically regarding understanding student growth and achievement data and how these data points inform and impact teacher practice and accountability. It feels good to work at a school where so many other people are leaders, not just the principal!”

Middle College and International High Schools Encourage Students to Stay for a Fifth Year

 LaGuardia Community College, part of the City University of New York, is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges. Founded in 1971, the College has been recognized as an innovator in educating students who are under-prepared for college work and/or are not primary English speakers. A catalyst for development in western Queens and beyond, LaGuardia serves New Yorkers and immigrants from 160 countries through 50 majors and certificate programs, enabling career advancement and transfer to four-year colleges at twice the national average.

Written By: Randy Fader-Smith, LaGuardia Community College, Long Island City, NY


While most high school seniors cannot wait to grab their diplomas and leave their high school days behind, over 60 percent of the students in Middle College High School and International High School’s last graduating class, came back for a fifth year.

Administrators at these five-year institutions, located on the campus of LaGuardia Community College, say the reasons are varied, but the main lure is the College’s very attractive financial packages that are offered at a time when college tuition and fees are off the charts. The fifth-year students, many of whom have already amassed college credits from LaGuardia, will continue to take tuition-free courses. Also included are free books and Metrocards.

The Early College at Middle College exemplifies LaGuardia’s 40-year history of pioneering new educational methods to respond to evolving student needs. When Middle College Early College was established in 2002 it became the first early college in the nation, and remains the model for the 201 early college schools throughout the nation. Following this paradigm, all early colleges have their students enroll in high school courses in the ninth and tenth grades, and by the second half of the tenth, encourage them to begin taking college courses.

“They are staying for many different reasons, but the prevailing reason is the sweet financial inducements,” said Linda Siegmund, principal of Middle College High School. “By staying one more year, some students can get enough credits to enter college as an advanced sophomore, while others can obtain enough credits to graduate LaGuardia with an associate’s degree.”

Brandon Ashley is one of those students. Brandon was planning on going to a state college after graduating from Middle College when his parents convinced him that it made financial sense to stay a fifth year. Entering the fall semester with 27 college credits, Brandon is on track to receive his associate’s degree by the time he completes his fifth year in August of 2011. “It is a package deal that you cannot beat,” said Brandon, who plans on transferring to an upstate college to pursue an engineering degree.

Jose Mendoza also saw the financial benefits of a fifth year, but he said what also helped make up his mind was the criminal justice major offered at LaGuardia. With 30 credits already under his belt, Jose explained that by the end of August he will have his associate’s degree, and will then go on to transfer to John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s baccalaureate program the following fall.

Both high schools have worked closely with LaGuardia to provide the students with a positive college experience. While students can take any college course offered by LaGuardia, they can also take courses developed and team taught by college and high school instructors as well as college courses taught by certified high school teachers.

“There has always been a solid partnership between LaGuardia and the high schools,” said Dr. Peter Katopes, Interim President. “Through this collaboration, we will continue to share expertise and resources and provide these students with a fruitful college experience.”

The early colleges have built into their programs a strong support system, a feature that Ms. Siegmund said is another reason students stay. During this transitional year, students participate in a teacher-run seminar several times a week where they discuss their college work. “The teachers have the syllabi of each student, and know how each student is doing in their classes,” she said. “This prevents a student from falling through the cracks.” Dr. Cecilia Cunningham, Director of the Middle College National Consortium, noted that the support system is one of the reasons for the students’ 80 percent college course pass rate. “It just points to the fact that kids need a lot more mandated support during that transition to a new institution.”

Ann Trzcinski, a Middle College teacher, noted that the fifth year can also help those students who are not quite sure what academic direction to take. Patrick Managhan, a fifth-year student, said that he was “lost” during his senior year so his teachers encouraged him to go the fifth year so that he could explore his options. “They were very supportive and believed in me,” said Patrick who is taking English, history and Introduction to Language this semester. “That is why they have this program. They want us to succeed in life.”

Students at International High School are staying for the same reasons, but John Starkey, a Program Leader, said that for these students, who had been in this country four years or less when they enrolled, the fifth year gives them more time to improve their English. Mr. Starkey described Tenzin Lekze, a native of Nepal who immigrated to the U.S. six years ago, as a shining star. “She would have been successful at any college she attended, but chose to work toward her associate’s degree while strengthening her English language skills.” Tenzin said, “Having one more year to improve my English, will give me the added confidence I need when I transfer to a four-year college.”

It is clear that the fifth year at LaGuardia Community College is an outstanding path for many Middle-Early college students.

Twin Scholarships for Stanford Bound Duo

It is a privilege to spend an hour talking with Jennifer and Benjamin Ezeokoli, 2011 graduates of Middle College High School and Contra Costa College, San Pablo, CA.  Along with a High School Diploma and multiple Associates’ Degrees, they’ve each been awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships including the Gates Millennium Scholarship, that completely supports students through a PhD degree. Earlier this year, the Contra Costa Times wrote, “She gives new meaning to the phrase ‘beating the odds’. The 17-year-old Oakland girl has overcome neighborhood violence and drugs, the foreclosure of her Richmond home, and her mother’s car accident. Jennifer seems to welcome a challenge, and a little competition.” “When you’re twins, people compare you,” said Jennifer, “but I’ve learned it’s healthy competition. I’m not competing against him; I just want to be the best that I can be.”

To be the best, Jennifer has had to work, at times doing door-to-door sales in scary neighborhoods in order to help support the family. “It was a lot to have on my shoulders, but as I grew older, I understood why that was placed on me. I understood that if I wasn’t there, who was going to help my parents do it.”

When the twins were in their teens, the family moved into a house in Richmond and they enrolled in the local middle school. It was there that the Contra Costa MCHS Leadership students came to the campus to talk to the eighth graders.

“I liked the fact that it was much smaller, that you got more help and support,” she said. “I didn’t want to miss that.”

After two years at MCHS, the family lost their Richmond home to foreclosure and moved back to Oakland, but Benjamin and Jennifer were determined to stay at MCHS. That meant that on a typical day, they were up and out of the house at 6:30, taking BART and bus to San Pablo. The commute was well worth it. The main thing she cherishes about her high school experience was the intellectual freedom afforded on a college campus. Benjamin loved the sheer variety of courses and the opportunity to develop independence. They agree that the smallness of the school allows for closer relationships and guidance at every step. Both credit college tutoring and early college seminars with helping their success. They are now paid tutors for other students in the sciences.

Jennifer is interested in the mysteries involving the brain, both the biology and the chemistry. “I like the thought that I can heal people physically,” she explains. “I just want to go into pediatric cardiology in order to give children the opportunity to live their lives.” Benjamin, who has taken many courses in biotechnology with extra mathematics and other sciences, is planning to become a doctor as well.

Benjamin credits one of his chemistry professors who found out what credits he had and helped him explore his potentials and apply his skills. Jennifer appreciates the support she got from teachers, administrators, and professors who always challenged and helped her do her best. Both value their high school and college with allowing them to develop a collegial relationship with college professors.

Before selecting Stanford for their undergraduate studies, they separately visited many prestigious colleges, including Harvard, Princeton, and Johns Hopkins. They liked other schools, but both felt that many of the eastern schools had a more formal atmosphere than they would like. Although they each have about 100 college credits, they will enter Stanford as freshmen. Jennifer explained, “I will have the knowledge of all those units I’ve earned, so I can enroll in more advanced courses right away. After all, if I’m going to Stanford why would I want to go for only two years?”

To this brother and sister duo, Middle College at Contra Costa College is their “normal”, a place where you don’t have to just know, you can explore. It’s a place where every student shines bright.


MCNC Middle-Early Colleges – A Few FAQs

Middle-Early Colleges (M-ECs) are small schools where students enroll in high school and college classes, and graduate with both a high school diploma and 1-2 years worth of transferable college credits. The Middle College National Consortium (MCNC) is an intermediary organization that develops M-ECs, a sub-group of its Middle College High Schools.

Written By: Elisabeth Barnett and Kristen Bucceri, National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, and Teaching (NCREST)

During the 2009-2010 school year, there were 20 Middle-Early Colleges in the MCNC nationwide, out of 34 MCNC member schools in total. Of these, 18 responded to the annual survey of Early Colleges administered by Jobs for the Future. Their answers were compiled by NCREST – and they paint an interesting picture of the practices and features of MCNC Middle-Early Colleges.

What students do Middle-Early Colleges serve?


The students in M-ECs are 80% non-white and 67% qualify for free or reduced lunch. Fifty-six percent are girls and 10% have limited English proficiency (LEP). Although two schools admit students strictly by lottery, the rest indicated that they use a variety of admissions criteria in student selection. In the survey, schools were asked whether they “consider” or “prefer” candidates based on different social and academic criteria. Table 1 shows the percent of schools that use each of these criteria when deciding whether to admit students. Schools also revealed that they receive lots of applications. Of those who applied in 2009, only about a quarter (27%) were admitted.



Do all Middle-Early Colleges look the same?

The answer is no.  While 56% of M-ECs have a liberal arts theme, a number of schools focus on a specific career field.  Seventeen percent of schools concentrate on math, science, and technology while six percent of schools focus on teacher preparation. Some M-ECs target a specific student population.  For example, 11% of schools have ESL/bilingual themes, meaning that they specifically target English Language Learners.  One school focuses on dropout recovery while another works with recent immigrant students.


Do all M-ECs offer the same program? 

Once again the answer is no.  Although the M-EC model provides for some common components across schools, these schools have considerable freedom to design a program that fits the needs of their specific state, community, and student population. For example, while all M-ECs stress student support and provide tutoring for students, the features of the tutoring program vary from school to school.   One goal that all schools have in common in their tutoring programs is an increase in math skills.  Most schools’ tutoring programs also provide support for other academic subject development (92% of schools), literacy skills development (82%), high school exam preparation (82%), and support with college classes (76%).


What opportunities do students have to take college courses?

Among the M-ECs, 74% of 10th grade students are enrolled in college classes, while 98% of 12th graders were taking college classes. Table 2 shows the extent to which students have opportunities to take college courses and the average credits that they had earned by the time of graduation. All M-ECs offered college courses taught by regular college professors. In addition, 44% had high school teachers offering some of their college courses and 11% offered classes co-taught by both a college and high school instructor.


For more information on Middle-Early Colleges, please keep your eye on the MCNC website ( where NCREST reports are regularly posted.

Dynamic Dimensions for Dual Enrollment

As a former principal of Middle College High School, Memphis, TN, I learned early that the college experience for high school students yields far reaching and long lasting benefits. Additionally dual enrollment is the catalyst for college affirmation. The belief system that college attainment is a rite of passage sends a clear message to students and their families that learning is seamless and achievable. Therefore, college becomes that transformational mantra in high school. Students who enrolled in college courses learn to think critically, respect the views of others, broaden their perspectives, prioritize their time, manage multiple assignments, adhere to deadlines, and conduct research.

Written By: Joyce C. Mitchell, Director Pre K-16 Innovations and Reform, Memphis City Schools

Memphis’s Middle College and Hollis F. Price high schools had received accolades for moving their students through the educational pipeline from high school to college. The graduation rate and dual enrollment data propelled both schools into public awareness. However, the dual enrollment access had been restricted primarily to a few schools. As part of the district’s high school reform agenda, the superintendent   included dual enrollment as a strategy for increasing rigor in all schools. My role as academic director was to introduce these dual enrollment opportunities to all students in the Memphis City School District.

If the dual enrollment program was value added, then how do we provide equity and access for all students? The answer to that question provided the impetus for accelerating our efforts with an intentional plan to forge partnerships with the multiple universities in our city. The district provided a budget to ensure that the resources were there to support the initiative.


Dual Enrollment was not a new concept to the Memphis City Schools District. Students have historically taken advantage of dual and joint enrollment opportunities through programs offered at area colleges and universities. For over 20 years, students enrolled in Middle College High School at Southwest Tennessee Community College (STCC) have taken courses offered through Dual Enrollment. Since 2005, students enrolled at Hollis F. Price Middle College at LeMoyne-Owen College (LOC) have also participated in the early college initiative. However, Dual Enrollment was not a Districtwide program until recently.

Because the Memphis City Schools District is dedicated to promoting the academic achievement of ALL students, our Office of High School Initiatives offered all eligible juniors and seniors the opportunity to earn college credit hours while completing their high school requirements. Most states, including Tennessee, recognize the power of dual enrollment in linking students’ high school and college experiences by allowing students to earn college credits during their high school years. This innovative program provides students with a seamless transition into their college years and gives them a jump-start on earning a college degree; all while allowing students to earn the high school credits they need in order to graduate.

Funded through the Tennessee Lottery and administered by the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation, the Dual Enrollment Program encourages students to explore post-secondary education and also enhances the high school curriculum by challenging students to accelerate achievement. This state funding is supplemented by the Memphis City Schools.

In 2008, Memphis City Schools, partnered with Christian Brothers University, LeMoyne-Owen College, Southwest Tennessee Community College, Tennessee Technology Center at Memphis, and The University of Memphis, to provide an opportunity for all eligible students to earn college credit while simultaneously earning a high school diploma. This Early College Program gave high school students a jump-start on a college education and a career by allowing students to take college and technical courses while still enrolled in high school. This rigorous program accelerates learning in a collegiate environment providing powerful motivators for students to work hard and meet intellectual challenges.

Early College courses are taught on the college campus, the technology center, or at the high school by a college professor or a secondary teacher who is credentialed under Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) as an adjunct professor. Students are enrolled in college or technical courses with a combination of college and high school students or in “cohort” or “restricted” classes. Dual Enrollment courses blend the high school and college work into a single, coherent unit of college-level work that meet the requirements for both high school and college credits.

All qualifying students may enroll in college level courses that are conducted at the high school during the school day and are taught by a bona fide college professor or a licensed SACS approved adjunct secondary teacher. In addition, qualifying 11th and 12th grade students may enroll in college level courses that are conducted at a state accredited institution of higher education.

  • To be eligible for enrollment in the Early College/Dual Enrollment program, a student must be a Tennessee resident and have completed the tenth grade and earned an ACT composite score of 19 or higher.
  • The Tennessee Dual Enrollment Grant pays tuition of $300 per semester, or $600 per year, for eligible students to earn college semester hours and high school credits while completing high school graduation requirements.
  • To maintain eligibility to participate in the Tennessee Dual Enrollment Grant Program, students must maintain a minimum 2.75 college G.P.A.
  • Students and/or their parents/guardians must be willing to provide transportation to the college or university sites for courses not taught on a high school campus.
  • Student must be willing to participate in coursework offered during the school day, after regular school hours, or on Saturdays.


  • Attendance: Students are expected to adhere to the college calendar and attend all scheduled classes and required study sessions. Regardless of the reason or nature of the absence, students are responsible for the work covered by the instructor and for timely submission of all assignments.
  • Discipline: Students are expected to adhere to the MCS Code of Conduct, as well as the college’s policy of student conduct.
  • Grades: To maintain eligibility to participate in the Dual Enrollment program, students are expected to maintain a 2.75 cumulative college grade point average.
  • Textbooks and supplies: Some MCS funds are available to assist students in purchasing required textbooks. Fee waivers for textbooks are available for students who qualify. All books must be returned at the end of the semester.
  • Withdrawals: Students may not withdraw from any college course without written permission from an administrator or counselor. Should student withdraw without consent, the student may be responsible for any costs including the cost of tuition.



Years of experience dictate that support is a necessary condition for success of dual enrollment. The cohort or restricted classes have built in support systems in the high school schedule. For example, the adjunct professor teaches on Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays, leaving Tuesdays and Thursdays for academic support. Students who take courses on the college campuses are encouraged to take advantage of the college’s Math, Reading, and Writing labs and Tutoring Services. The district funds academic coaches. Several of our high schools have hired college career advisors to monitor the students who are enrolled in college classes.

The deputy superintendent of MCS, Dr. Irving Hamer, has provided increased support and funding to sustain this initiative. Although we exceeded the dual enrollment target of 20%, the expectation is to continue to increase the numbers. The Tennessee Diploma Project specified that students may earn a Diploma of Distinction by earning 12 hours of college courses. Dr. Kriner Cash, MCS Superintendent, has also included Dual Enrollment as part of the “Cradle to Career Roadmap” Reform Agenda. In addition it fits into the Memphis Talent Dividend Program that seeks to add $1 billion to the Memphis economy by increasing the number of students earning a college degree by just 1%.

Approximately 1,000 students from 27 MCS high schools and two charter high schools are enrolled in dual enrollment courses at 6 universities. There is also an increase in the number of on-line college courses through the Tennessee Regents On-line Degree Program. MCS requires all rising 10th graders to take one on-line course prior to graduation from high school. The on-line courses appear to be challenging for students and we need to provide additional layers of support as well. Some schools are providing access to labs during the day with a teacher of record to help students with the pacing and content of the college course.

Yes, dual enrollment is still an untapped option for many students. Using the Early College Transition Grant, we will continue to communicate the value of and access to college course for high school students


Consortium Matters: The Missing Ingredient in School Reform

Your reaction to this title is either, “I have heard all this before” or “now what?”.

After all we have had Rigor, Relationships; and Relevance, Testing; No Child Left Behind; Strategic Planning and Comprehensive School Improvement Plans; Testing, Charter, Vouchers, and Choice; advisories and literacy plans; and now College Readiness; the Common Core and possible national testing for college readiness. So what is the missing ingredient?  It is structured, comprehensive alignment between high schools and colleges with dual enrollment for all high school students as the focus – not tests, not curriculum alignment, not “better” preparation at the high school level. Requiring all students to take college classes before high school graduation ensures a smoother transition to college and eliminates the summer drop off. Raised expectations and opportunities to take college classes with more rigorous content can be successful experiences for all teenagers when accompanied by extensive support systems. Our goal is NOT to provide young students with the opportunity to fail courses earlier than they would have if they had waited until their first year of college to take a college course. Therefore, there is considerably more pressure on both secondary school teachers and college faculty to communicate, identify common ground, and work together to better serve the students they share. College students usually struggle in private, but mandated academic support for dual enrolled high school students surfaces their struggles and provides just in time intervention.

High level institutional collaboration can result in more students taking college level classes when they are ready, some as early as the tenth grade, shrinking the time to college graduation and saving families and states money. Instead of investing in a new set of tests that align with the Common Core to measure college readiness, we should invest in high school-college collaborations that lead to increased dual enrollment for all students, offer professional development and provide opportunities for our existing faculties. Investing in our teachers and professors has the added advantage of taking the college readiness initiative to scale a lot quicker than writing and adopting new tests. We do not have to wait a decade for more students to achieve college readiness. Opening up dual enrollment to more students can achieve this goal in this decade. We already have the tools and capacity in the hands of the skilled college and high school faculties who have worked hard to ensure college success for MCNC students and schools.


Henry Ford Early College Students Complete Community Emergency Response Training!

By Marva Brooks, MSN, RN, Program Coordinator, Henry Ford Early College, Dearborn Heights, MI


Every fall the HFEC 10th graders participate in the Department of Homeland Security and Citizen Corps Teen Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) course, commonly referred to as CERT. This program is a national initiative directed at making our schools and communities safer by having education-trained youth capable of preparing and responding to disasters and emergencies.  The TEEN CERT training program prepares students to help themselves, their families, and their school in the event of a disaster. TEEN CERT training provides students with the skills to help emergency responders save lives and protect property.  The TEEN CERT training takes about 20 hours to complete and culminates with a mock disaster scenario for the participants.  TEEN CERT participants learn how to identify hazards, reduce fire hazards in the home and workplace, extinguish small fires, assist emergency responders, conduct light search and rescue, set up medical treatment areas, apply basic medical techniques, and help reduce survivor stress. Upon successful completion of this training, participants are not only prepared to serve as support to emergency responders, but can also help the school year-round by assisting with safety issues in the school.  

Spotlight on Our Graduates

We have a great story to share. Josue (Josh) Carbunck began his high school years at Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy. In the summer before his Junior year he moved to Santa Ana where he began his studies at Middle College High School at Santa Ana College. On Friday, May 20th Josh received his A.A. degree from Santa Ana College because of the combined studies from L.A. Harbor and Santa Ana Middle Colleges. We are very proud of the power of our partnerships!

Estefania Lazo

The International High School at LaGuardia Community College spotlights graduating senior Estefania Lazo. Estefania arrived in NYC from Ecuador four years ago. She has been the main force in our school’s efforts to participate in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. She has completed a multi year internship at Forest Hills Hospital where she has assisted doctors and nurses in the Emergency Room by providing essential language support and translations for patients. She will enroll at St. Joseph’s College majoring in Biology, planning to become a pediatrician.


At MCHS at Contra Costa CollegeNicole Walker, has been a participant in the last two MCNC Student conferences. She is the recipient of University of California’s Incentive Award and will be attending UC Berkeley. Nicole had internships for the city of San Pablo and at Doctor’s Medical Center. She has been an active member of school leadership, participating and organizing many of the school’s student activities and has served as a tutor for students in Physics and a teacher’s assistant for both a high school and a college math teacher.

Ben Martin

Ben Martin, a 2011 Greenville Technical Charter High School graduate, will receive Distinction Recognition for his exemplary work on his Senior Project. Ben, who has had a long time interest in the outdoors and military activities, researched and constructed a ghillie suit, a type of camouflage clothing designed to resemble heavy foliage. While many high school students struggle with using their school time wisely, Ben became a champion of time management. His outstanding work was rewarded with excellent grades in all components of the project, i.e. portfolio, product, class work, and presentation. Ben has been accepted to The Citadel, and plans a career in Marine Corps.



This is the first year that MCHS @ San Joaquin Delta College had 3 graduates with a perfect 4.0 GPA both at high school and at community college. The three students will be sharing the stage as co-Valedictorians and will be attending the University of California at Berkeley. They have a combined 21 Associate Degrees. Jene Li has beaten the odds. His family is non-English speaking, his father is on disability, and his mother supports the family. Jene will major in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Yuen Ng who comes from a social-economically disadvantaged, non-English speaking family will be the first in her family to attend college. Yuen, will major in Molecular and Cell Biology. Anmol Sohail’s family has been severely impacted by the current economic crisis. Anmol will be graduating will major in Business and Economics.

Cindy Lam

It’s a family tradition. Following in her brother’s footsteps, Cindy Lam has attended San Mateo Middle College for the past two years, and will attend UC Berkeley in the fall. Cindy was valedictorian at her home school, Aragon High School, and was a graduation speaker the Middle College ceremony where she was awarded the Lorraine McLean Memorial Scholarship, given to the top student in English. Cindy earned an unweighted 4.0 GPA while finding time to be an outstanding competitor on the Aragon badminton team.


Graduates Hannah Moon and Saphire Duveau have been involved in an innovative program that introduces world culture through music. By participating in The Brooklyn College Academy World Ensemble, they both developed a versatility and respect towards learning original instruments. They are extraordinary, multifaceted students who exemplify the definition of life-long learners. Performing together with their peers, they displayed a passion for understanding the nuances and depths of this music genre. Each one had a quiet respect for the conductor/teacher, patience with peers and maturity beyond their years. Along with four students from the original World Ensemble, they traveled to Nebraska to perform at a school on the Omaha Reservation and The Museum of Nebraskan Art. This helped all understand culture, language, and how students can come together and become a positive influence in our great society.


Heaven Tesfahiwet

Heaven Tesfahiwet is Middle College at El Centro‘s Valedictorian and Prom Queen. She’s an English Language Learner, proudly Eritrean, and she’s sunshine itself. Heaven earned her Associate of Science degree with 67 credit hours of college work. She will attend the University of Texas at Austin to earn advanced degree in Pharmacy and then work in a part of the world where her service is most needed.


Jimmy Daniel, Jr., graduate of MCHS at Los Angles Southwest is going to the University of California at Berkeley majoring in biology as an undergraduate. He plans to become a pharmacist. Jimmy has been active in school drama productions since his ninth grade, and a student member of the school site council and compensatory education advisory committee for the last four years.  He has a 3.6 high school GPA and will transfer 40 credits from LA Southwest College to Berkeley.


Julian Stewart is Middle College at Christian Brothers University‘s 2011 valedictorian. Julian accrued 63 college credit hours through our college partnership with Christian Brothers University and maintained stellar high school and college records. He was accepted to over 40 colleges across the nation and received over $2.5 million dollars in scholarship offers. Julian will attend Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA on a full scholarship, where such notables as Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. graduated. In addition to his academic accolades, Juilan embodies a true spirit of humility and service to others!

Kelsey Norris

At Greenville Technical Charter High School, One of our young ladies completed her senior project, an economic study of our Parents in Partnership, while earning over 112 credit hours at the college. Kelsey Norris earned enough college hours to enter university in the fall as a senior, if she desires. From a single parent home, Kelsey knew how important education can be and used all her effort to attain all she could. She also participated as the chair of our Academic Team and was on our Robotics team for several years. Kelsey hopes to earn her doctorate and one day become a teacher in a university.

Mayrelis Perez came to Academy of the Canyons as an 11th grader and earned 39 college units during her two years here. She came to the U.S. at 13 years old from Cuba and spoke no English when she arrived. She quickly mastered the language and developed the skills she needed to become a successful student. She has been active in our student government class and has taken all honors classes. Her teachers describe her as a natural leader, determined, ambitious, bright, resilient, eager to learn and anxious to please. She has received the Principal’s Award and will study architecture at Cal Poly, Pomona.


Sammie Williams is a great student and ambassador for Thurgood Marshall MCHS. He was given scholarships to Louisiana State University, Loyola University, St. John’s University, and The University of New Orleans. He was very active in our dual enrollment program and selected Louisiana State University as his school of choice with a full scholarship.


Mahmoud Al-Rifaiey

One outstanding graduate at Mott Middle College was Mahmoud Al-Rifaiey who completed an Associate in Applied Science in Electronics and Electrical Technology, and has already been offered a job by a security systems company. He created a robotic communicator and was a big hit when he used it to address our students about the field of electronics. Fellow Mott student, Dakari Harris,

Dakari Harris

graduated in April with three degrees, an Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, and an Associate in General Studies. Dakari did an internship at Hurley Medical Center. He did all this while holding a job and helping out his grandparents. He will continue his education at Indiana University in Health Science, with a view toward being a Physician Assistant.


Sharod M. Fenner will graduate from Edgecombe Early College High School with an Associate in Arts degree and an Associate in Science degree, as well as his High School diploma. Sharod is a natural leader who has come from a single parent family and has worked his entire high school and college career. He is an Honor Graduate and a member of the National Honor Society as well as Class President. He will attend North Carolina State University, majoring in engineering.


Olivia Hernandez has demonstrated leadership at Truckee Meadows Community College High School through community service projects, involvement in the school’s Future Business Leaders of America chapter, public speaking, and school ambassadorship. She has fostered leadership skills in others by encouraging peers to involve themselves in community outreach activities and attend at business events. Olivia says, “I will graduate, before I turn 21, with my bachelors degree from the University of Nevada, Reno, majoring in business. Going to TMCC High School was the best decision I’ve ever made!”

Ashley Griffin, Marquette Beecham, Crystal West and Velma Maclin

These are the first Hollis F Price Middle College graduates to graduate from LeMoyne-Owen CollegeAshley Griffin,graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Biology; Marquette Beecham, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science;Crystal West, Summa Cum Laude with Distinction, Bachelor of Arts in Sociology; Velma Maclin, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.


Seichi Kamimura graduated Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy with completed 79 college units and a 3.95 college GPA. At HTPA graduation, he received the AP Scholar with Distinction and Golden State Seal Merit Diploma. At HTPA he is President of Christian Club, on varsity basketball team, and an advisory facilitator. In the community he volunteers at UCLA Medical Center, teaches Sunday School, works with Operation Christmas Child. When he enrolls at UCLA in the fall, he will be the first in his family to attend a four-year college.