By Wendy Byerly Wood
March 27, 2014
BOONVILLE — Starmount High School has entered a $200,000 national education contest hoping for a chance at one of the 15 prizes that will be awarded to recognize the best in K-12 innovation. In addition to completing an online application for the third annual Follett Challenge, Starmount High School also submitted a short video to promote its innovative programs that teach students the 21st century skills they need to be prepared for life.
Ten of the prizes, valued at $5,000 each, to be given away are from the “People’s Choice” category and will solely be based on how many votes applicants have received for their videos from the public. Video voting began March 7. Starmount High School’s video is now posted on the Follett Challenge website (www.FollettChallenge.com) under the “View Entries” tab.
After registering, users can cast one vote per day through April 4, when voting ends. Not only are the public’s votes significant in the video voting portion of the contest, but they also will play a role in the overall rubric as 30 percent of each school’s final score is based on the number of votes generated for their video.
“We hope our community will support us by viewing our video and voting for our submission,” said Suzie Thomasson, school library media coordinator. “Participating in the Follett Challenge recognizes our educators for the great job they are doing with the limited resources they have and, should we win, reward them with resources to do more. It also will give our educators here a platform to share their innovation with other schools across the country and throughout the world.”
With a total prize value of $200,000 in products and services from Follett — a global education solutions leader — the overall winner will earn a $60,000 prize, plus a celebration at the school, while each of the other three semifinalists will earn $30,000 prizes. The 10 “People’s Choice” awards are worth $5,000 each in products and services and will be announced April 14 along with the semifinalists. This year’s Follett Challenge will honor semifinalist winners in four categories: elementary, middle, high school and magnet/parochial/K12 schools.
The judges will be seeking applications that illustrate critical thinking, communication, creativity and collaboration between students and among teachers and other members of the school staff. Last year’s grand-prize winners were Maplewood Richmond Heights School District in St. Louis, Mo., and Henry M. Gunn High School in Palo Alto, Calif. The 2014 grand-prize winner will be announced May 16.
For more on the Follett Challenge, visit www.FollettChallenge.com.