ESSEX, N.Y.  - Thirty-three schools across the United States and Ireland have been named Schools of Distinction by CFES, an honor that recognizes the development and execution of an exemplary plan for CFES Scholars and the entire school in the CFES core practices of Mentoring, Leadership Through Service, and Pathways to College and Career. 

In order to be considered for the School of Distinction title, a school must meet a strict set of criteria, including implementing programs for the entire school and involving Scholar families in activities. Achieving CFES School of Distinction status is a collaborative effort with the purpose of helping all students become college and career ready.

“These 33 schools are global models,” said Rick Dalton, CFES President and CEO. “They are successfully creating a culture of college and career readiness and are helping their students develop the Essential Skills they need to succeed in the 21st century workforce.”

Here are some of the exemplary activities developed by CFES Schools of Distinction:

Dreamaker’s Center (August Ahrens School, Waipahu, Hawaii) Scholars and teachers designated a space in their school where students can access information about colleges and careers. Proving that it is never too early to get students thinking about their future, even the youngest scholars participated in career-focused activities, from creating photo displays envisioning themselves in various careers to visiting the Challenger Center to learn about careers in STEM. The Dreamaker’s Center provides a tangible headquarters to excite students about their future and centralize all career-related resources and activities.

Student Ambassador Program (Largo Middle School, Largo, Florida) Scholars at Largo volunteer as ambassadors to help their younger peers because transition to middle school. They met with fifth graders to give them an early welcome to the CFES program at Largo, to dispel myths and fears about middle school, and to inspire them with their own experiences. 

College & Career Wall (Brooklyn Institute for Liberal Arts, Brooklyn, NY) May 1st is celebrated at BILA with a school-wide assembly during which every member of the senior class walks on stage, announces the names of colleges to which they were accepted, and their final decision. Students in the audience held signs of encouragement and cheered for their peers. BILA also established a College Acceptance Wall where scholars could publicly keep a running list of their college acceptances. These activities created a culture of academic ambition, as an example to younger students to push themselves toward college and career.

Below is the full list of the schools receiving the CFES School of Distinction honor:

Aiken New Tech High School - Cincinnati, Ohio

PSJA Alamo Middle School - Alamo, Texas

August Ahrens Elementary School - Waipahu, Hawaii

Booker High School - Sarasota, Florida

Breathitt County High School - Jackson, Kentucky

Brooklyn Institute for Liberal Arts - Brooklyn, New York

Christel House Academy - Indianapolis, Indiana

Cloonan Middle School - Stamford, Connecticut

Crown Point Central School - Crown Point, New York

Eximius College Preparatory Academy - Bronx, New York

Governor Stanford B. Dole Middle School - Honolulu, Hawaii

Keeseville Elementary School - Keeseville, New York

Largo Middle School - Largo, Florida

Miramar High School - Miramar, Florida

Mulberry Middle School - Mulberry, Florida

Pelham Preparatory Academy - Bronx, New York

Peru Central School - Peru, New York

Plattsburgh High School - Plattsburgh, New York

Richard R. Green High School of Teaching - New York, New York

Saranac Central School - Saranac, New York

PSJA Stephen F. Austin Middle School - San Juan, Texas

Ticonderoga Central School - Ticonderoga, New York

Washington-Marion High School - Lake Charles, Louisiana

Willsboro Central School - Willsboro, New York


Ardscoil La Salle - Raheny, Co. Dublin, Ireland

Balbriggan Community College - Balbriggan, Co. Dublin, Ireland

Colásite Bride High School - Clondalkin, Co. Dublin, Ireland

Loreto College - Drimnagh, Co. Dublin, Ireland

Marian College - Ballsbridge, Co. Dublin, Ireland

Mercy Secondary School - Inchicore, Co. Dublin, Ireland

Moyle Park - Clondalkin, Co. Dublin, Ireland

St. Joseph’s Secondary School - Rush, Co. Dublin, Ireland

St. Mark’s Community School - Tallaght, Co. Dublin, Ireland