Award Winners Home


Georgia and Texas High Schools Named 'Best of the Best'

NEW ORLEANS , June 22, 2004 — At an awards ceremony last evening, 20 schools were named as Intel & Scholastic Schools of Distinction Award winners. The winners were chosen from more than 1,200 applicants around the country. Two schools — Houston County High School in Warner Robins, Ga., and MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas — were named the "Best of the Best" based on comprehensive programs exhibiting excellence in the use of technology, involvement of parents and community, professional development, teamwork and high academic standards. The two top schools will each receive a $25,000 grant from the Intel Foundation.

In addition, 18 schools were named as winners in individual categories (see below). Each of those schools will receive $10,000 from the Intel Foundation, bringing the total foundation grant to $230,000. The 20 winning schools will also each receive curriculum materials, professional development resources, software and hardware valued at more than $120,000 bringing total cash and prizes to $2.3 million. Corporate donors are eInstruction, Futurekids, Microsoft, NEC, Primedia, Pitsco, Riverdeep, Scantron, Scholastic Inc., SchoolNet and SMART Technologies.

"The winners of the Intel & Scholastic Schools of Distinction awards exemplify what is right with education in the United States," said Intel CEO Craig Barrett. "Education can be transformed when a community of involved administrators, teachers and parents come together to achieve a common goal. "By sponsoring these awards, we hope to share the outstanding programs and efforts these schools have put in place with other schools around the country. We have to learn from each other in order to transform our classrooms and our schools."

About the Schools of Distinction Awards
This national award program, created by Intel Corporation, Scholastic Inc., and the Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Foundation, recognizes the finest K–12 schools in the United States. The judging process was led by the Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Foundation staff. Winners were selected based on their implementation of innovative and replicable programs that support positive educational outcomes. Best practices from award-winning schools will be made available at .

The Winning Schools
Set in the midst of a farming community, Houston County High School demonstrates its motto "Futuristic goals and old-fashioned values," daily. Students at the school farm learn old-fashioned animal husbandry and traditional dairy and pig production, yet they also take tech-infused classes on embryo transfer and do research into protein loading for maximum growth. The school is a showcase for innovative thinking, exemplified by the ground breaking 9 th Grade Academy. The Academy helps students transition to high school by designing a curriculum that teaches decision making skills, time management and study skills. Faculty and students strive for excellence, resulting in strong performance on the Georgia High School State Graduation Tests; juniors scored in the 96th percentile this year, 5 percent above the district and state average.

MacArthur High School, a large suburban school where nearly 40 percent of students receive free or subsidized lunch, is the second of this year's "Best of the Best" winners. At MacArthur, each student has a school-issued laptop and access to a co-op curriculum, which includes work study and advanced placement programs, as well as concurrent enrollment at a nearby college. Work gets done using innovative processes, including thinking maps, cooperative learning, teamwork and leadership programs, project-based learning, experimental lab activities, and interactive student presentations. The school has created an impressive student-centered community that extends far beyond the walls of the school. For instance, science students participate in virtual dissections, video conferencing and ongoing dialogue with medical researchers. For the past four years, the school has achieved the state's highest academic rating.

"It is important to recognize the achievements of our schools and to share these stories with the rest of the nation," said Bernadette Grey, Editor-in-Chief of Scholastic Administrator and an award judge. " The Intel & Scholastic Schools of Distinction Awards are uncovering great new ideas for creating partnerships, working with parents, and a host of other significant innovations that can lead to a better school experience and, ultimately, to academic gains for our children."

Bart Teal, executive director of the Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Foundation, said: "We are honored to recognize these schools. It is especially satisfying to discover that schools facing challenging demographics are rising to meet their diverse needs by incorporating innovative techniques to overcome obstacles in educating all children. It is evident that incorporating technology into teaching and learning practices is an excellent way to help level the playing field."

A Complete List of Winners by State
Abraham Lincoln High School, San Jose   Community Involvement
Cornerstone at Pedregal Elementary School, Rancho Palos Verdes   Involved Parents/Teachers.
Sherman Oaks Community Charter School, San Jose   Professional Development
Whitney High School, Cerritos
  Academic Excellence
Kendale Elementary School, Miami
Houston County High School, Warner Robins
  Best of the Best
Edith Scheuerman Elementary School, Garden City
Summit Elementary School, Ashland
  Involved Parents/Teachers
Arthur A. Coolidge Middle School, Reading
New York    
KIPP Academy Charter School, Bronx   Academic Excellence
Townsend Harris High School, Flushing
  Community Involvement
Beachwood Middle School, Beachwood   Technology Excellence
New Albany High School, New Albany
Deer Creek Prairie Valley Elementary School, Edmond
  Professional Development
South Carolina    
Irmo Elementary School, Irmo
  Technology Implementation
Greeneville Middle School, Greeneville
  Technology Excellence
Bishop Dunne Catholic School, Dallas   Innovative Use of Technology
MacArthur High School, Irving   Best of the Best
Walnut Hill Elementary School, Dallas
  Technology Implementation
Talbot Hill Elementary School, Renton   Innovative Use of Technology


The Schools of Distinction program is part of the Intel® Innovation in Education initiative, a sustained commitment — in collaboration with educators and government leaders worldwide — to help prepare students to succeed in a knowledge-based economy. Intel is focused on helping to integrate technology effectively into the education process and to helping improve science, mathematics, engineering and technology education. For more information, visit .

Scholastic Inc. is the leading global children's publishing and media company including such renowned brands as Harry Potter™, Clifford the Big Red Dog™, Goosebumps™ and I Spy™. The Scholastic Education division is a major provider of education technology solutions with a host of acclaimed technology products to raise reading achievement including: Scholastic Reading Counts! ™ , Scholastic Reading Inventory ™ (SRI), Wiggleworks ® , and the breakthrough READ 180® — a research-based intervention program for students reading below proficient level in grades 3 through 12. READ 180 has a proven track record of producing quantifiable gains for struggling readers. In addition, Scholastic offers the highly regarded Scholastic Red® , an online professional development program, Grolier Online, and a wide array of technology products from Tom Snyder Productions. is the leading website for K–8 teachers, administrators, students and families. For educators, Scholastic's on-line teacher Web site offers free, standards-based content that spans reading, language arts, math, social studies, and science. It includes thousands of teacher-tested lesson plans, engaging student online activities, tools for the creation of free, personalized classroom homepages and online ordering for Book Clubs and Software Clubs. Among the company's 37 highly successful classroom and professional magazines is Scholastic Administr@tor magazine, which is a must-read leadership and technology resource for today's results-driven school administrators. For more information visit .

The Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that administers this award program and is dedicated to providing educational improvement opportunities for all schools and all children. Funded through a grant from NASA, Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence finds what is working in schools and shares this knowledge freely with all schools through a Web-based interactive library of best practices. For more information, please visit .

Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at www .