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Chicago Math Magnet School Wins Intel Top Award

More than $1 Million Given to Innovative Math/Science Schools in Intel Schools of Distinction Awards


  • The awards for the Intel Schools of Distinction were announced today in Washington, D.C., recognizing top science and math schools in the nation.
  • Chicago’s Walter Payton College Prep took top prize; winners also from Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York and Virginia.
  • Cash and award packages included curriculum materials, professional development resources, hardware and software from sponsors.

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 14, 2010 – Walter Payton College Prep, a Chicago high school with a student body representing youth from more than 100 elementary schools around the city, took home the top award in the Intel Schools of Distinction contest tonight in Washington, D.C.

Other schools winning big include Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (Alexandria, Va); Roxbury Preparatory Charter School (Roxbury, Mass.); Westdale Heights Academic Magnet School (Baton Rouge, La.); M.S. 223 The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology (Bronx, N.Y.); and West Elementary (Wamego, Kan.).

Intel’s education quest is to prepare tomorrow’s innovators, and the six schools honored do just that in the areas of innovative math and/or science programs. In recognition of and support for their efforts, each school won an estimated $160,000 in a combination of cash grants from the Intel Foundation and an award package including curriculum materials, professional development resources, hardware and software from program sponsors including Blackboard Collaborate, BrainwareSafari, Dell, DyKnow, I-CAN, SAS, Scantron, SMART Technologies and Tabula Digita.

“The critical knowledge base provided by math and science education is the foundation for innovation,” said Shelly Esque, vice president of Intel’s Corporate Affairs Group. “These schools imbue a deep passion for math and science in the next generation, a critical requirement for America to remain competitive in the global economy.”

The Walter Payton College Preparatory High School based in Chicago took home the Star Innovator Award, which brings an additional $15,000 from the Intel Foundation, for a total of $175,000 in cash and prizes. Payton is a citywide magnet school that serves a diverse student body and focuses on mathematics, science and world languages. Math teachers participate in lesson study and are highly engaged in collaborative processes. All courses include measurement, data analysis and modeling activities, using the same digital lab instruments used in science classes. The school schedule includes block lessons once a week and innovative, co-curricular seminars throughout the semester to engage students in the study of advanced or unusual topics.

More than a quarter of students take five or more math courses before graduation, opting for AP Statistics and university-level electives. More than 99 percent of Payton students meet or exceed state math standards. Additionally, Payton students have a 98 percent graduation rate and excel in academic competitions. The school also has an excellent record for helping students qualify for AP courses and pass AP tests.

Twelve finalists were selected from 149 applications. The 2010 finalists were from Florida, Kansas, Texas, New York, California, Illinois, North Carolina, Virginia, Louisiana, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Ohio.  For more detailed information visit

Over the past decade alone, Intel has invested more than $1 billion, and its employees have donated more than 3 million hours toward improving education in 50 countries. To learn more, visit and the To join Intel’s community of people sharing their education stories, visit

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