From an ACLC press release:
The Alameda Community Learning Center has recently hired new school leadership and staff in critical areas.
After a nationwide search for a new Lead Facilitator (Principal), ACLC found its most qualified candidate right here in the Bay Area. David Hoopes joins ACLC from Envision Schools: Impact Academy of Arts and Technology in Hayward, CA, where he served as Principal. Under his guidance, this fledgling charter high school increased its API scores by 75 points and secured a 6-year accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), plus a 5-year charter renewal.
Previously, in his role as Academic Dean at Leadership Public Schools (Hayward), Hoopes implemented instructional strategies that created one of the strongest teaching teams in the state, resulting in an 89-point increase in API scores in two years. Earlier, he was an Instructional Coach for various Leadership Public Schools in the Bay Area, and prior to that, a curriculum coach, department chair and social sciences teacher in Richmond and Fremont, CA, and international schools in Italy and Brazil.
“In addition to David’s focus on academic rigor, he promotes project-based learning and a strong and positive school culture — all core ACLC values. ACLC has enjoyed 18 years of nurturing from the program’s founders, but this infusion of new talent really strengthens our DNA,” said Paul Bentz, Executive Director of Community Learning Center Schools, the parent organization of ACLC and its sister school, Nea Community Learning Center.
Hoopes is also eager to continue developing the STEAM — Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics — curriculum at ACLC.
“I’m passionate about educating students so they can excel and contribute in a rapidly-changing world and global economy. Students gain deeper understanding when both sides of their brains are engaged. A STEAM approach gives equal weight to the arts and creativity, synthesis and problem-solving, along with core subjects like math and science,” said Hoopes.
At a time when many larger schools are laying off counselors due to tight budgets, ACLC is committed to maintaining its counseling staff. “School counselors play a key role in kids’ personal and educational success,” said Bentz. “Investing in a counseling team is a tangible way to help our learners make a seamless transition into higher education and beyond.”
Another nationwide search led 2000 miles east to Eryn Kjelland, a Master’s graduate of the University of Wisconsin Counseling Education program. Kjelland’s passion for promoting student success and her experience in both middle and high school counseling, college prep planning, and interest in an alternative educational approach made her an ideal fit for ACLC. Her background in business also helps her coach students on skills needed in the marketplace.
“I understand the importance of having 21st century skills while helping students achieve academic, social and career goals. A supportive environment of experiential learning like ACLC helps prepare students for the real world and promotes personal growth and academic achievement,” said Kjelland. “I’m excited to be an advocate for students within ACLC’s unique environment.”
As part of its commitment to a STEAM curriculum, ACLC also hired Sarah Hong, a new Chemistry facilitator (teacher), who brings additional talents in the arts and PE. Hong hails from Chicago, IL, and graduated from Northwestern University in Secondary Education with a concentration in Chemistry. Along with teaching in the Chicago area and Denver, CO, Hong most recently taught science and English to students in Thailand.
“I’m thrilled to be working at an pioneering school like ACLC that fosters innovative learning and prepares its students to become strong, independent thinkers,” said Hong. “Besides core Chemistry classes, I’m having fun teaching a new elective called the ‘Art of Science’ that combines my love of science and the arts, and is a great way to open the minds of kids who don’t expect to like science.” Hong is also a skilled Ultimate Frisbee player who is looking forward to assisting ACLC’s state championship Ultimate Frisbee team.
The Alameda Community Learning Center (ACLC) is a small 6th – 12th grade public charter school that has enjoyed big success. US News & World Report has named ACLC one of the "Best High Schools in the U.S." for the past four years, placing it in the top 7 percent of high schools nationwide. Historically, over 80% of its graduates gain admission to selective four-year colleges and universities, including schools like Harvard, Stanford, MIT, USC, UC-Berkeley and UCLA.