Ánimo Ellen Ochoa Charter Middle School, Ánimo Inglewood High School, Ánimo Jackie Robinson High School & Ánimo Leadership High School Recognized for Closing Achievement Gaps

Los Angeles, California, Feb. 29, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond named 293 exceptional middle and high schools as 2024 California Distinguished Schools. Among them are four Green Dot Public Schools—Ánimo Ellen Ochoa Charter Middle School, Ánimo Inglewood High School, Ánimo Jackie Robinson High School, and Ánimo Leadership High School in Los Angeles.

“We are honored that the tireless efforts of our administrators, teachers, students, and families at these four schools are being acknowledged,” said Dr. Cristina de Jesus, President and CEO of Green Dot Public Schools California. “This honor highlights our successful work in striving to eliminate systemic barriers and ensuring educational excellence reaches all students.”

The California Distinguished Schools program recognizes schools for closing achievement gaps and for demonstrating exceptional student performance. Ánimo Ellen Ochoa Charter Middle School, Ánimo Inglewood High School, Ánimo Jackie Robinson High School, and Ánimo Leadership High School were honored for the exemplary education they provide to students.

"I cannot fully express how proud I am of our incredible students, teachers, and staff,” Kristin Botello, principal at Ánimo Jackie Robinson High School. “This California Distinguished School recognition affirms that with hard work, compassion and a commitment to equity, we can truly give all young people the chance to shine academically while supporting their social-emotional growth.”

The schools earned recognition for strong overall academic achievement in English and math, accelerated growth for historically underserved groups, reduced suspensions, and high graduation rates. This affirms Green Dot's commitment to equity and empowering students.

“Our school community has poured so much energy into fostering excellence for students of all backgrounds,” said Cynthia Ybarra, principal at Ánimo Ellen Ochoa Charter Middle School. “To be acknowledged through this Distinguished Schools award, as a school closing achievement gaps, inspires us to keep empowering our students to reach for their highest aspirations."

“We are honored that Ánimo Inglewood High School has been named a 2024 California Distinguished School,” said Dr. La Shawn Allen, principal at Ánimo Inglewood High School. “Our students confront systematic barriers, yet continually rise to achieve academic and personal excellence. This recognition is a testament to our resilient students, devoted educators and innovative approach to preparing the next generation to thrive.”

“At Ánimo Leadership, our students gain knowledge and tools to create meaningful change,” said Danielle Berger, Ánimo Leadership High School principal. “We cultivate empowered, compassionate future leaders. This Distinguished School award validates that our approach inspires students to excel academically while developing confidence to stand up for their communities.”

Tony Thurmond, the State Superintendent remarked in a press release, “It is my pleasure to honor and recognize these 293 secondary schools for their efforts to provide exemplary public education to all students. Excellent middle schools and high schools play a critical role in the life outcomes of our young people. This year’s California Distinguished Schools celebration provides us with an opportunity to recognize the hard work of our secondary educators and school staff who help our young adults discover passions and access college- and career-ready experiences that will propel them through life.”

The awarded schools will be celebrated at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim on May 3rd, 2024, and will hold the distinguished title for two years. Green Dot congratulates our students, families, teachers, and school leaders on this wonderful recognition of their hard work and perseverance paying off.

About Green Dot California
Green Dot Public Schools California operates 18 charter middle and high schools in Los Angeles, providing over 10,000 students from historically under-resourced communities with a transformative educational experience grounded in the belief that every student has a right to an excellent education that unlocks their potential. Implementing a rigorous college preparatory curriculum along with personalized academic counseling and support, Green Dot empowers students to overcome barriers, achieve at the highest levels, and graduate prepared for higher education, leadership roles, and fulfilling careers. As Title 1 schools serving predominantly low-income populations, Green Dot provides its students with the tools and opportunities required to realize their full potential, closing opportunity gaps. Driven by the pillars of High Expectations, Local Control with Extensive Professional Development, Personalized Learning, and Parent Participation, Green Dot is an established leader in transforming public education to profoundly and positively impact students, families and their communities.

Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn @GreenDotCA, and Instagram, TikTok and X @GreenDot_CA.


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