Clemson, SC – Seith Bedard, Director of the Peabody Learning Academy, an alternative high school in Peabody, MA, will be recognized during the national conference of the National Dropout Prevention Network (NDPN) with the organization’s 2014 Crystal Star Award of Excellence in Dropout Prevention.
Bedard has served Peabody Learning Academy—located 30 miles north of Boston—for ten years. The school provides at-risk and returning students with a rigorous academic program, small class sizes, and individualized selections. Bedard is being recognized for championing the inclusion of service-learning into the academy’s curriculum, with students giving back to their community by volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross, and several other organizations.
“It is an honor for our organization to celebrate an innovator like Seith Bedard and the Peabody Learning Academy,” said John Gailer, Assistant Academic Program Director for Programs and Outreach for NDPN. “He and the academy are stellar examples of a school that has taken the alternative education concept and made it their own in a manner that best fit the students, faculty, family, and community.” Bedard has also established a community advisory board, and an annual scholarship fundraiser for the school, which is supported by the Simon Youth Foundation nonprofit educational charity.
And since 2010, the Peabody Learning Academy under Bedard’s stewardship has achieved a 100 percent graduation rate.
Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Clemson, South Carolina, the NDPN provides research, and effective, evidence-based solutions that can be utilized by schools, districts, and communities in the effort to increase graduation rates nationally.
The organization’s Crystal Star Award is presented annually to individuals, organizations and programs committed to education, dropout prevention and recovery.
In addition to Bedard, individual winners of this year’s NDPN Crystal Star Awards in the area of dropout prevention include Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear and Governor Steven L. Beshear; former U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao; and Kelly Tonsmeire of the Alaska Staff Development Network in Douglas, AK. Dropout prevention program winners include Mountain Educational Charter High School in Cleveland, GA and Edmonton Catholic Schools in Alberta, Canada.