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University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (April 14, 2010) – In an emotional and inspirational ceremony, students, faculty and staff of Hogan Preparatory Academy on May 13 celebrated the school’s selection as one of only three institutions across the United States to receive the College Board’s Inspiration Award for 2010.
The Inspiration Award is given annually to schools that have improved their academic environments and helped underserved students achieve equitable access to higher education. Each winning school receives a $25,000 award, which they will apply toward programs encouraging students to attend college.
“Hogan has been mission focused for many years, and is constantly working to improve its school. It is great to witness this well-deserved national recognition,” said Doug Thomas, interim director of the Midwest Center for Charter Schools and Urban Education at UCM.
Hogan Preparatory School is located at 1221 Meyer Blvd. in Kansas City, and is one of nine charter schools sponsored by UCM. The award ceremony was attended by members of the Midwest Center for Charter Schools and Urban Education, but some key participants in the celebration had strong ties to UCM.
Hogan Principal Danny Tipton, a 1992 graduate of UCM’s business education program, led the ceremony, which included comments from representatives of the student body, the school board, the community, and the College Board. Tipton emphasized the “family” spirit that exists at Hogan.
“Without all of the hard work and dedication of the teachers, the drive and determination of the students, none of this would be possible. One of my favorite quotes is, ‘No one can be successful unless there’s a lot of people who want them to be.’ Hogan is very fortunate that there are a lot of people in Kansas City and in this state who want us to be successfu,.” he said.
Darius Johnson, a 2009 graduate of Hogan who just completed his freshman year at UCM, told the gathering, “Hogan has been viewed as an underdog for so long, and by receiving this award, it’s about time we get the credit we deserve.”
The award was presented by Peter Negroni, senior vice president of the College Board, who was also joined on the gymnasium stage by Tipton; Johnson; Donna Calvin, president of the Hogan School Board; and Hogan seniors James Brown and Kayana Hampton. A former member of the UCM governing board, Alvin Brooks, a Kansas City resident who serves on the Ad Hoc Committee Against Crime, also addressed the gathering.
Hogan Preparatory Academy provides a high-quality, individualized, values-based college-preparatory education for students. School programs are designed to prepare graduates who are dedicated to personal achievement and academic success and committed to their community.
The school serves an urban student population who would otherwise be at-risk. Most students enter Hogan with academic skills more than two years below grade level, but all students complete a college-preparatory curriculum needed to go on to college. Eighty percent of the school’s graduates from the classes of 2007 and 2008 have matriculated to and persisted in college, and all 2009 graduates were accepted to college.
“Not only do students get accepted to college but if you check a year or two years later you’ll find over 80 percent of them continuing in post-secondary education,” said Randy Dewar, Midwest Center for Charter Schools. “Almost all of them are the first members of their families to attend college. That adds to the pride and confidence their parents have in this school, and all of that just snowballs into something bigger. For example, there’s a culture of high expectations that is internalized by the students and the faculty. They expect success.”
Hogan also has been recognized in Newsweek's “Best U.S. High Schools,” in addition to being nationally recognized by the College Board. Strengths of the school cited by the board include efforts to increase parental involvement in students’ education, with a particular focus on increasing the involvement of adult males in the lives of students. The school’s Parent Center serves as a welcome space, and provides parent education classes. The effort to increase parents’ presence in the school also includes events such as Mornings for Moms and Donuts for Dads.
Thomas added that the award presented to Hogan “is symbolic of the strong governance, effective leadership, devoted instructional staff, supportive community, and most importantly a successful student body found at Hogan Prep. Hogan is a great example of an effective charter school and one in which UCM can be very proud of its association.”
Other schools among the top three Inspiration Award-winners are Green Run High School, Virginia Beach, Va., and Medgar Evers College Preparatory School, Brooklyn, NY.