|Gaston Caperton presents the Inspiration Award to students at William B. Murrah High School.|
William B. Murrah High School in Jackson, Miss., was one of three exceptional high schools to be named College Board 2009 Inspiration Award winners for improving their academic environments and helping underserved students achieve equitable access to higher education. On May 14, College Board President Gaston Caperton presented the school with the award at a ceremony attended by Principal Freddrick Murray, District Superintendent Lonnie Edwards, students, parents, faculty and community members.
Murrah’s student jazz ensemble led the celebration, which featured stories from current and former students about how Murrah’s supportive staff had pushed them to reach their potential. Caperton proudly accepted
a t-shirt from the students and proceeded to immediately put it on, provoking wild cheers from the audience.
As William B. Murrah High is a Title I, inner-city school enrolling underserved students, the faculty and staff
are well aware of the many barriers to college success that these students encounter. The college-going culture at Murrah starts as soon as a student walks into the school and reads a hanging banner, “College.
Not If, But Where,” that serves as a daily reminder of what is expected of all who enter those doors. Murrah has worked to provide the essentials — a rigorous curriculum, teacher preparation and student support -- while developing vertical teams of teachers beginning in middle school who create aligned curricula and share effective teaching strategies, student scholarships and support through a partnership with the nonprofit Education Services Foundation.
Through another partnership with University Medical Center in the Base Pair program, Murrah’s students work with faculty researchers, leading many of them to have successful college experiences in such schools as Yale and Brown.
In the last five years, the success of Murrah’s AP® students has proved the positive effect these improvements have had. The number of AP students has increased by 54 percent; the number of AP Exams taken has increased by 74 percent; and the number of AP Exam scores of 3 or higher has increased by 36 percent.
With insights from the College Board’s CollegeKeys Compact™ — a national effort to make college access and success a reality for all students, including those from low-income backgrounds — Murrah faculty and
staff, along with students, parents and partners, implemented a plan that built on earlier successes. To enhance a college-going culture, efforts were focused on factors that appear to help low-income students go to college, like raising the level of student expectation; encouraging them to take a rigorous curriculum; helping students identify the benefits of college; and providing information and hands-on assistance in planning and paying for college.
More information about the College Board Inspiration Awards is available at www.collegeboard.com/inspirationawards.Return to top
|VP Jenny Krugman|
Our College Board team brims with professionals who carry forward our mission and who aim their work at advising and often caring for families, students, higher education and K-12 leaders, governors (and their staffers), and state school officers.
Five team players stand out in our cadre of
leaders in the Southern Region as stars. Each is
highlighted below and each owns a bit of our
region’s involvement in making student success more than a slogan.
Lorraine Hastings, SRO vice president for strategy, training and operations
Jesús Jara, SRO executive director in Florida
SRO director of operations
SRO, director of government relations
Tony Pace, SRO senior director
Lorraine Hastings, until a few weeks ago, was the key voice in our K-12 work across the South. Just named vice president for strategy, training and operations, she will now influence the policy and efforts of College Board staff across the nation. With congratulations and applause, we send Hastings to worlds beyond the South but promise to keep her linked to our ongoing efforts to serve our constituents.
Jesús Jara is an executive director who leads much of the College Board’s work in Florida, with a special focus on our Florida Partnership. Since becoming leader of the Florida team in 2006, he has been responsible for coordinating College Board programs and services to provide equity and access to minority and underrepresented students in the Sunshine State. Jara serves as a liaison between the College Board and myriad state-, district-, and school-level educators. As a doctoral student, science educator and sports medicine aficionado, Jara has a deep well of knowledge from which to draw.
Gail Mitchum, director of operations, has been a mainstay in our Southern Regional Office since 1995. Her essential responsibility is to support, coordinate and direct the work of our regional council. She is the liaison to our members in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. If you attend our Southern Regional Forum in Atlanta next February, you will see Mitchum making sure all attendees receive hearty helpings of Southern hospitality and comfort.
Directing our government relations effort in the South is Linda Owens. She works with state government representatives — including governors’ education policy aides, chief state school officers, chief higher education officers, state legislators and state education staff — to encourage support for the College Board’s student success priorities. Before Owens began her 13-year stint with us, she served as chief higher education policy advisor to Florida’s commissioner of education.
Higher education across our region’s 10 states is the domain of Tony Pace. As senior director for higher education support, he works with university colleagues and with a dedicated “home team” of college and university specialists. Devoted to his daughters and brothers, Pace brings a family focus to our world here at the College Board. He, too, has been connected to working in advocacy in professional organizations both in the U.S. and abroad.
A dedicated and focused team of professionals in the South, we are here to serve you.
The Young Epidemiology Scholars Competition was held last month in Washington, D.C., and a Kentucky high school student, Sydney Beache from Louisville Collegiate School, was named a national finalist and awarded a $15,000 scholarship. Beache was one of 12 selected from 60 regional finalists in Washington and more than 560 submissions nationwide. In total, the YES Competition, which is sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and administered by the College Board, awarded nearly $500,000 in scholarships this year.
Each YES competitor develops a research question and hypothesis about a health issue that concerns a group or groups of people, and then conducts research to analyze the subject and suggest potential ways to improve the problem based on the analysis.
Beache’s project explored ways to reach underserved women with mammography. While doing a summer internship at the Norton Cancer Institute in Jefferson County, Ky., Beache decided to research the effectiveness of the institute’s program of delivering breast-cancer screening to medically underserved women in the areas of the county with the highest number of deaths due to breast cancer. She found that the combination of approaches used by the institute was successful in reaching women who had never before been screened and also in detecting breast cancer early enough for successful treatment.
For more information about the YES Competition, visit the program’s Web site.
Another research competition administered by the College Board is the annual Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, which is funded by the Siemens Foundation. This competition offers students an opportunity to achieve national recognition for science research projects that they complete in high school and a chance to win a $100,000 college scholarship. The deadline for entering this year’s competition is Oct. 1, with winners announced in December. To learn more about the Siemens Competition, visit the foundation's Web site or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2008 Kentucky General Assembly enacted Senate Bill 2, which provides a new Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) supplemental scholarship award for students who are eligible for the free or reduced-price lunch program during any year of high school and who earn qualifying scores on AP® Exams.
Eligible students will begin earning these awards for AP Exams taken during the 2008-09 academic year. Students will be awarded $200 for each AP Exam score of 3; $250 for each AP Exam score of 4; and $300 for each AP Exam score of 5. There is no limit to the number of supplemental awards a student can receive.
The supplemental award(s) will be incorporated into the overall scholarship amount, meaning that the student will be eligible to receive the supplemental award amount over four years of college. For example, a student scoring a 5 on each of two AP Exams would be eligible for an additional $600. The student would be eligible to receive that amount each year of college, up to four years, provided the student meets renewal criteria each year. Thus, the total value of the supplemental award in this example would be $2,400 over the student’s college career.
The Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship program is administered by the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority.
Click here to see events and workshops in the Southern Region.
During this pivotal time in our nation, the College Board invites you to join us for two special opportunities to connect with education professionals dedicated to impacting change and increasing college readiness.
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