2003 Crystal Star Award Recipients

2003 National Dropout Prevention Network Crystal Star Awards of Excellence Program Winners

Career Education Options Program
Shoreline Community College, Shoreline, Washington

The Career Education Options Program (CEO) is committed to helping at-risk, out of-school youth, ages 16-21, achieve self-sufficiency through education, job training and life skills development. Supported by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Shoreline School District and the King County Work Training Program, the program helps out-of-school youth to pursue their GED and/or a professional-technical associate degree. Most come to CEO having exhausted their options within the high school setting, and have little chance of graduating with their peers. The program’s tuition support is essential, as most students have limited financial resources. The college’s open door policy allows them to feel welcome and offers a new chance to flourish. Launched in 1995, the program has grown steadily and is now operating at capacity, serving 514 students in 2002-03. Approximately 80 students annually have completed their GEDs with virtually all of them moving on to further college studies.


Complete High School Maize
USD 266 Maize, Kansas

Complete High School Maize (CHSM) is an experiential learning center for grades 9-12. Students who attend the school have either previously dropped out of school or are not presently successful at their traditional high school. Maize has a four-day school week, and Friday morning is dedicated to providing those students who need additional help, time to get it. One of the first tasks students must complete is the multiple intelligences inventory that gives them an indication of their learning style. Once students understand their learning style, they are able to pursue individual learning contracts that best address that style of learning. CHSM students also have their own Personal Education Plan (PEP) which includes work experience, community service, vocational technical college, and any other program the student might be interested in pursuing. On-line courses provide educational opportunities to students that extend beyond the school day. To date, 90% of CHSM graduates are in careers or in training/education for a career, and all are employed.


Jefferson County High School
Jefferson County Public Schools, Louisville, Kentucky

Jefferson County High School (JCHS) is committed to providing successful completion of high school to all students unable to graduate from the traditional school setting. JCHS facilitates student learning through open entry/open exit, and a self-paced, individualized curriculum, thereby enhancing self-esteem and the ability to become productive employable members of society. JCHS is one of the largest high schools in the District with more than 350 graduates annually. The school is located in five (5) locations throughout Jefferson County. These sites include high schools, portables and community education centers. Students also have the option to take regular academic courses online through the District’s eSchool. A program evaluation found that students who attend JCHS were less likely to have dropped out than those in the comparison group, 15.3% versus 34.9%, respectively. Since its inception, the school has received more than 800 visitors; its model is being used at an estimated 275 other school districts in over 27 states.


2003 National Dropout Prevention Network Crystal Star Awards of Excellence Individual Winners

Lee G. Fox
Metro Atlanta Boys & Girls Clubs

Lee Fox is the Assistant Camp Director/Program Director at the Metro Atlanta Boys & Girls Clubs Camp Kiwanis Program. He has worked at the Camp for more than 20 years and oversees the activities, instructs in the programs, trains the staff in the programs, creates and develops new program activities, advocates for the Camp, and helps to raise money to fund the various activities. In the past ten years more than 59,000 young people have gone through his programs. His Leaders in Nature’s Kingdom (LINK) program is a four-year leadership program that allows young people to grow, mature, and learn leadership skills. All of these young people come from an environment which places them at-risk, and many demonstrate negative behaviors in school. Two hundred youth have been selected for this program and all of them have graduated from high school. Of those who graduated, 98% have gone on to college. Lee has developed club programs with both Zoo Atlanta and Fernbank. He was part of a joint venture program with Georgia Tech, in which Atlanta school teachers came to Camp Kiwanis to learn about the instructional techniques that were being used.


Regina Greenwald
Delaware Department of Education

Regina Greenwald is State Director for the School to Work federal grant as well as State Director for the Delaware Learn & Serve grant, the lead education associate for Delaware Department of Education’s (DDOE) dropout prevention team, and a member of DDOE’s Character Education program development team. She developed a “What I Want to be When I Grow-Up Day” co-sponsored with Junior Achievement. Children throughout the state now dress in costumes depicting careers on Halloween. Mrs. Greenwald has been involved in staff development for all of Delaware’s guidance counselors, career counselors and vocational and technical educators as well as Family and Consumer Science educators. Regina previously worked as the Delaware Department of Education’s Transition Facilitator for the Transition Services Quality Management (TQM Project) and has taught grades K-12 in a number of states, and has been a school to work coordinator, college advisor and credentials assessor. She is a member of the Governor’s Council for Employment of People with Disabilities, the State Community Service Commission, the Delaware Partnership for Positive Youth Development, and numerous committees involving youth and employment.


Dr. Mary Jo McLaughlin
Academy of Creative Education, San Antonio, TX

Mary Jo McLaughlin is the founding principal of the Academy of Creative Education (ACE), San Antonio, TX. ACE is an innovative non-traditional high school for students who are at-risk of dropping out of school. She is the driving force behind this highly successful program that is recognized as one of the premier alternative schools in the state of Texas. Under her leadership, more than 2,000 students have graduated from this dropout retrieval and recovery program since the school opened in 1991. She organized The Academy Advisory Corporate Council, a community support committee that provides scholarship opportunities, mentors, and resources for graduation ceremonies. Mary Jo developed a Year-End Report which is a model for schools all over the country. Dr. McLaughin served as a peer reviewer for the Texas Alternative Accountability Division of the Texas Education Agency, and is an active participant in Star Trainers, a state professional development cadre. Dr. McLaughlin is a recipient of the prestigious Trinity Prize for Excellence in Teaching by Trinity University. During her 35 years in education, she has taught English, physical education and adult education classes, and for 13 years taught at Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Home in Omaha, Nebraska.


2003 Crystal Star Award of Excellence Distinguished Leadership and Service

Cynthia A. Terry
Florida Department of Education

Cynthia A. Terry, a native Floridian, is the Dropout Prevention Field Program Specialist for the Florida Department of Education’s (DOE) Bureau of Instructional Support and Community Services which provides on-site technical assistance to 23 school districts. She has been in education for more than 22 years, and in dropout prevention/alternative education for 14 years. Cyndi began her education career as a teacher at Winston Elementary, a former “Strawberry School,” where a student’s attendance centered around the strawberry growing season. Cyndi left the classroom for a job at the Florida Department of Education in 1987 with the Office of Professional Practices. She has been active with the Dropout Prevention Network since 1990, and has served on three national conference planning committees. Cyndi constantly promotes the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network to school personnel, graduate students, parents and students. She has used grant funds to provide scholarships for at least four local teachers to attend a National Dropout Prevention Network Conference.