in a word, it was inspiring!
KIPP is a national network of high performing charter schools which stands for Knowledge is Power Program. most of the schools are middle schools, but kate is a founding teacher at the bay area's first KIPP high school. what does this mean? kate and a small group of dedicated teachers started a new high school for underserved students from scratch...
last saturday, four years later, the founding class at KIPP King graduated as the class of 2011! and even more impressive than graduating this class where many of the students are first generation high school graduates, is the fact that there is a ONE HUNDRED PERCENT college acceptance and planned college attendace rate among the students!
this was no easy task. the school has extended hours, a year round school schedule and all students must participate in an extracurricular activty. they have a rigorous college prep curriculum that unfortunately is not offered at many of the public high schools in their demographic.
i have witnessed kate work tireless hours and constantly worry about her students. she is now the assistant principal at the school, and she means business. oh, i've seen her in action, she don't take shiz from nobody. but she is also the most caring and dedicated teacher and role model these students could ask for.
the graduation was one big inspriring love fest honoring the hard work and struggles the students faced and how they persevered beyond them. pride was beaming from each of the students and even more so from the multitude of family members who carried signs and flowers and enormous smiles on their faces.
i left the ceremony feeling like i had witnessed something historic and life-changing. it was both of those things!
kate: i am so proud of your work and your students!