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A School Headed by a TC Student Receives National Honor
Anael Alston, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at TC, is principal at one of 10 schools across the country that will be honored as 2011 Breakthrough Schools by the MetLife Foundation.
Anael Alston, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at TC, is principal at one of 10 schools across the country that will be honored as 2011 Breakthrough Schools by the MetLife Foundation. Alston, Principal at Robert M. Finley Middle School in Glen Cove, New York, will be honored at the National Association of Secondary School Principals conference in San Francisco in February.
Established in 2007, the MetLife Foundation-NASSP Breakthrough Schools program recognizes middle level and high schools that are high-achieving or are dramatically improving student achievement and serve large numbers of students living in poverty. “The leaders of these urban, rural, and suburban schools have proven that with leadership, time, and a clear focus, high-poverty schools can be turned around,” the MetLife Foundation said in a statement.
“NASSP Breakthrough Schools provide rigorous instruction and personalize their schools to meet the needs of each and every student,” said NASSP Executive Director Gerald N. Tirozzi. “I applaud the schools for their focused efforts and the principals of these schools for their leadership. We look forward to featuring them as models of success in the coming year.”
Selection is based on a school's success in implementing strategies in three core areas that have led to improved student achievement:
- Collaborative leadership: professional learning communities, shared leadership, and student and staff leadership development;
- Personalization: attention to all students, mentoring, and school/community connections;
- Curriculum, instruction, and assessment: access to rigorous coursework for all students, differentiated instruction with multiple assessments, data-based decision making, and opportunities for career development.
A former Golden Gloves boxing champion and 2010 New York City Marathoner, Alston recently defended his dissertation, “Having Our Say: Thoughts, Perspectives, and Perceptions of Graduates of Satellite East Junior High School for the Gifted and Talented in Gifted Education.”
The study examined the perspectives of graduates of Satellite East (a school in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn that has since closed) regarding student-teacher relationships in the areas of teacher support, curricular relevance, and academic rigor—significant factors in student achievement among at-risk students. This study also explored the impact that graduates felt attending SEJHS had on them, their experiences with “acting White,” as well as their perceptions of their own success.
To learn more about the MetLife program and the selected schools, visit www.principals.org/breakthrough.
Published Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010