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Casco Bay High School Principal Derek Pierce Receives Nellie Mae Award

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    Alexis Margolin

Congratulations to Derek Pierce, Principal of Casco Bay High School, for winning Nellie Mae's 2014 Larry O'Toole Award! The award is given out each year to an individual or organization that has exhibited great leadership through innovation or courage in moving student-centered approaches to learning forward. Derek will be awarded $100,000 for Casco Bay High School (CBHS).

Derek noted that CBHS is in the midst of a three-year expansion from 280 to 400 students and the award will "help narrow the gap between our vision for student-centered learning and our daily practice."  Specifically, CBHS will dedicate:

  • $50,000 to scholarships that ensure that all CBHS students, regardless of family income, can continue to participate in the school's most transformative educational experiencesthe Freshman Questthe Junior Journey and the Senior Questeven as they expand.
  • $25,000 to supplies and equipment for a nascent "Maker Lab" so CBHS students would have more opportunity to explore, design, invent, experiment, create, tinker, fail and try again through STEM.
  • $15,000 for micro-grants to help students actualize promising plans for addressing local needs.
  • $10,000 to expand the school's capacity for hosting visiting educators and leading workshops on student-centered learning.

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation works with schools to implement the principles of student-centered learning—learning that is personalized, engaging, competency-based and happens anytime, anywhere. We're helping schools strengthen what is working and substantially update and improve policies and practices that are outdated.