AUSD Recalls This Year’s Schools’, Students’ Excellence

AUSD Recalls This Year’s Schools’, Students’ Excellence


As the school year draws to a close, it’s time to look back at the way Alameda students shined. 

Two Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) high schools received medals in the recently releases  US News & World Report annual “Best High Schools” report. Alameda High School, ranked #618 in the country and #109 in the state, won a Silver Award. Alameda Science and Technology Institute (ASTI), an Early College High School where students take college classes instead of AP classes, won a Bronze Award. 

Wood Middle School (WMS) and ASTI have also been named to the 2017 Honor Roll of California Business for Education Excellence (CBEE), a professional organization comprised of business leaders committed to improving public education in this state. The designation honors schools that have demonstrated consistently high levels of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement over time, and reduction in achievement gaps.

CBEE designated Wood Middle School (WMS) as a “Star School” because it enrolls a significant number of low-income students but is also high performing and closing the achievement gap. The organization designated ASTI a “Scholar School” because it is a high-performing school that does not enroll significant levels of low-income students.  

A full list of the Honor Roll schools and districts, as well as an explanation of the organization’s methodology, can be found on the CBEE’s website. 

“I congratulate the students and staff of these two secondary schools for work well done and awards deservedly won,” said Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. “Both schools ranked very well among both state and national high schools. It is enormously gratifying to see this recognition bestowed upon both ASTI and WMS.”

Many AUSD students (and former students!) also received amazing recognitions this spring. 

• Kaitlin Alcontin, an 11th grader at Encinal Jr. & Sr. High School, was chosen to read a poem about Abigail Adams at a “Hamilton” performance on May 3. 

A number of students won awards in the Harvey Milk Poem and Poster Contest this year.  Tuesday Bakker (EJSHS) won first prize in the poster contest; Talia Grumet (AHS) and Kirsty Lastra (EJSHS) won Honorable Mentions in that category. Salma Hassan (Bay Farm School) won first prize in the poem contest, and Sofia Coffin and Selena Phu (also of Bay Farm School) won Honorable Mentions. 

The cash prizes were awarded on Harvey Milk’s birthday (May 22) at a ceremony at the main library. Poster printing was donated by the Alameda Collaborative for Children, Youth, and their Families.

Middle- and high-school students across Alameda also won awards in the Alameda County Office of Education’s Tobacco Use Prevention Education Public Service Announcements competition. Ken Der (ASTI) won first place in the audio category; Yuting Li and Kelly Cai (also from ASTI) won second place. Arnold Yoo and Ethan Woon (again from ASTI) won first place in the photo contest. Ming Gao and Anne Huang (ASTI, once againI) won second place in the high school video category; Aneesh Patil (Lincoln Middle School) won third place in the middle school video category.  Cammie Young (ASTI, again) won first place in the poster contest.

Nine-year-old Malek Farhan (Ruby Bridges Elementary School) received a “Certificate of Awesomeness” from Mayor Trish Spencer for his quick-thinking action after a classmate fell on her head from the monkey bars. Young Malek helped revive the younger girl by blowing on her face and then ran to get help. 

Last but by no means least, Encinal High School alumna Malaika Fraley and her colleagues at the East Bay Times were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for their coverage on the Ghost Ship fire!

“These are stories that should give us faith in our current practices and hope for our future,” McPhetridge says. “These types of honors and recognition showcase the talent and efforts of students and teachers alike. AUSD is proud of the achievements of students, staff, families, and the many partners who help make Alameda a great place to live and learn.”