California School Wins Top Intel Schools of Distinction Award

Nation’s Most Innovative Math and Science Schools Awarded with More than $1 Million


  • Schools with exceptional math and science programs were recognized in Washington, D.C. at the Intel Schools of Distinction Awards.
  • Valley Christian Junior High from San Jose, Calif. won the top award of $125,000.
  • Other schools from California, Colorado, Maryland, Minnesota and Oregon were recognized.

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 20, 2011 –Valley Christian Junior High in San Jose, Calif. took top honors tonight in the Intel Schools of Distinction contest. Intel’s Schools of Distinction awards program honors K-12 schools that have some of the most successful educational programs in the country. Schools recognized for this award have demonstrated excellence in math and science education and their ability to promote students’ problem solving, critical thinking and collaboration skills, areas called 21st century skills by educators.

Other schools winning big included Byron Senior High (Byron, Minn.), Crellin Elementary School (Oakland, Md.), Farmington View Elementary (Hillsboro, Ore.), Lynbrook High School (San Jose, Calif.) and Preston Middle School (Fort Collins, Colo.).

“By honoring the Intel Schools of Distinction winners, Intel hopes to inspire other schools to reinvigorate their own programs and prepare America’s youth for success in the global economy,” said Shelly Esque, vice president of Intel’s Corporate Affairs Group. “We encourage schools with outstanding math and science programs to apply for next year’s award.”

The Intel Foundation and sponsoring companies distribute a total of $1 million in cash grants and awards to the winning schools. In recognition and in support of their efforts, each winning school won an estimated $100,000 in a combination of cash grants from the Intel Foundation and an award package that includes curriculum materials, professional development resources, hardware and software from sponsors including BrainHoney, BrainWare Safari, Dell,I-CAN, KDS, LanSchool, SAS, SMART and Pearson.

Valley Christian Junior High took home the Star Innovator Award, which brings an additional $15,000 from the Intel Foundation and other prizes for a total of $125,000 in cash and prizes. This large, independent school serves a diverse, urban population and employs a variety of methods to teach mathematics, including directed teaching, hands-on activities, collaborative work and discovery exploration. Over the past 4 years, Valley Christian students have consistently scored in the nation’s top 17 percent in mathematics on the Stanford Achievement Test Series.

Of particular interest, Valley Christian uses “inverted learning,” in which students watch prerecorded webcasts of lessons as homework, reserving class time for practice. The effects include increased student engagement, increased retention and the utilization of multiple forms of personalized learning through individual work, pair share, group work, and one-on-one student-teacher interactions.

The winners were selected from a pool of 18 schools that were recognized as finalists from 156 applications from 38 states. Finalists were:

Topic School Level School Name City State
Mathematics Elementary School Crellin Elementary Oakland Maryland
Hollin Meadows Elementary Alexandria Virginia
Wauwatosa STEM Wauwatosa Wisconsin
Middle School Conyers Middle School Millikan (Robert A.) Conyers Georgia
Valley Christian Junior High School San Jose California
Millikan Middle School Sherman Oaks California
High School Andover High School Andover Massachusetts
Byron Senior High Byron Minnesota
Leadership Public Schools Hayward California
Science Elementary School Farmington View Elementary School Hillsboro Oregon
Walton Elementary School Walton Kansas
Zachary Elementary School Zachary Louisiana
Middle School New Bridge Middle School Jacksonville North Carolina
Preston Middle School Fort Collins Colorado
Sandy Run Middle School Dresher Pennsylvania
High School Brooklyn Technical High School Brooklyn New York
California Academy of Mathematics & Science Carson California
Lynbrook High School San Jose California

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Schools interested in applying should visit:

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