Senator Darrell Steinberg, Children’s Hospital Oakland, and Porterville Unified Superintendent Named 2014 Linked Learning Champions

Sacramento, CA – The Linked Learning Alliance announced today that the first annual Linked Learning Champion award recipients have been named. The Linked Learning Champion awards recognize extraordinary commitment, leadership, and success in implementing and expanding high-quality Linked Learning opportunities for students in California.

Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg is the recipient of the 2014 Linked Learning Policy Champion award. Senator Steinberg was the force behind the $250 million Career Pathways Trust competitive grant program. The Career Pathways Trust is helping regions develop systems that connect employers with schools to support Linked Learning pathways, and provide students work-based learning opportunities. Among other significant legislative achievements, Senator Steinberg authored legislation to improve the state’s accountability system so that it better measures student college and career readiness. He also established in state policy the UC Curriculum Integration Institute, which leads development of rigorous courses that integrate core academic subjects with Career Technical Education, and meet the UC and CSU admission requirements. 

“Senator Steinberg has systematically and steadfastly advocated for systemic changes in California that are now directly contributing to college and career success for tens of thousands of California students,”  said David Rattray, Senior Vice President of Education and Workforce Development at the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, and President of the Linked Learning Alliance Leadership Council.  

The 2014 Linked Learning Employer Champion Award goes to Children’s Hospital and Research Center  Oakland. Children’s Hospital Oakland has been a pillar for the success of health academies in the East Bay region. The hospital partners with six high schools, including Oakland Technical High School, Life Academy of Health & Bioscience, Oakland High School, and MetWest School in the Oakland Unified School District, and Berkeley High School in the Berkeley Unified School District. The hospital developed the Community Health & Adolescent Mentoring Program for Success (CHAMPS), a three-year internship program that annually introduces about 95-100 underrepresented minority high school students to health professions through a comprehensive academic program that includes career planning and clinical shadowing experiences. A significant percentage of students go on to 4-year universities and graduate health profession programs, including medicine, nursing, public health and social work.

“California is facing a serious shortage of workers in today’s fast-paced, global and technology-driven marketplace,” said Jennifer Ortega, State Director of the business leaders organization ReadyNation/America’s Edge. “This skills gap is a problem in many industry sectors, including health care, manufacturing and engineering. Through CHAMPS and other work-based learning opportunities hosted by Children’s Hospital, many Linked Learning students have been exposed to exciting careers in the health profession. This helps close the skills gap by encouraging students to work hard in high school, and hone the technical and ‘soft’ skills needed for success in college and their future careers.”

John Snavely, Superintendent of the Porterville Unified School District, is the 2014 Linked Learning Educator Champion. Dr. Snavely leads a district that is recognized nationally as a model for its systemic, district-wide implementation of Linked Learning and success in preparing students for college, career, and life. Dr. Snavely works with a broad range of employer, civic, and postsecondary partners in the region to make a well-articulated vision of success for all students a reality. He continually utilizes his knowledge and leadership skills at all levels to ensure that all students have opportunities and options for success.

“Dr. Snavely and his leadership team are incredible mentors for many other districts and communities  working on Linked Learning implementation,” said Gary Hoachlander, President of ConnectEd, the  California Center for College and Career. “Dr. Snavely is also instrumental in expanding Linked Learning as a student success strategy throughout the Southern Central Valley region.”

“The Linked Learning Alliance Champion Awards honor and highlight the best and most impactful leaders in Linked Learning policy and practice,” said Christopher Cabaldon, Executive Director of the Linked Learning Alliance. “Districts serving more than a third California’s high school students have already committed to make Linked Learning their high school improvement strategy. As interest in the Linked Learning approach grows, our field must continue to hold the bar high, and ensure students have equitable access to quality Linked Learning opportunities.”

The awards for Linked Learning Employer, Educator, and Policy Champions will be presented at the 2014 Linked Learning Alliance Spring Convening, to be held April 10, 2014 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento, CA.  

  • Senator Steinberg will receive the Linked Learning Policymaker award at 8:45 a.m.
  • Children’s Hospital and Research Center Oakland will receive the Linked Learning Employer Champion award at 11:45 a.m.
  • Porterville Unified School District Superintendent John Snavely will receive the Linked Learning Educator Champion award at 2:45 p.m.

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