28 Schools Recognized as Exceptional Across the United States & Ireland


Twenty-eight schools across the United States & Ireland have been recognized as Schools of Distinction by CFES Brilliant Pathways. This honor acknowledges the development and execution of an exemplary plan for the entire student body to become college and career ready through the CFES core practices of Essential Skills, Mentoring and Pathways to College and Career.

In order to be considered for the School of Distinction title, a school must fulfill a meticulous and varied set of criteria. These include implementing innovative programs throughout the school to advance college and career readiness, as well as including family members and the community in school activities.

“These 28 schools are global models,” said Rick Dalton, CFES Brilliant Pathways 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.”

Examples of the activities designed by CFES Schools of Distinction include:

  • 20 students from J.E. Brown Middle School in Atlanta, Georgia led 400 of their peers through Essential Skills workshops. This peer-to-peer exchange of knowledge about Goal Setting, Teamwork, Leadership, Perseverance, Agility, and Networking allowed students to hold each other accountable and engrained these skills into the school-wide culture.
  • Mentoring at Crown Point Central School in Crown Point, NY is an integral part of the school curriculum. Once a month, the entire K-12 school pauses their scheduled classes to engage in mentoring. Mentors are students, teaching staff, school staff, and administration. The school-wide integration of mentoring insures that every student has the guidance and support to become college and career ready.
  • Students from Blanche Pope Elementary School in Hawaii participated in a three-day, two-night leadership summit hosted by high school mentors that equipped the students with the tools to share what they learned with their peers and plan and implement college and career activities throughout the school year.
  • Students at Cloonan Middle School in Stamford, Connecticut planned and hosted a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) Family Night where students and their families learned about college and career, including how to create a college-going culture at home and how to strengthen the home-school partnership.

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

Aiken New Tech High School, Ohio

Ardscoil La Salle, Ireland

August Ahrens Elementary School, Hawaii

Balbriggan Community College, Ireland

Blanche Pope Elementary School, Hawaii

Booker Middle School, Florida

Brooklyn Institute for Liberal Arts, N.Y.C.

Cherry Valley-Springfield Central School, Leatherstocking

Christel House Academy, Indiana

Cloonan Middle School, Stamford, Connecticut

Colasite Bride High School, Ireland

Crown Point Central School, Adirondacks

Dole Middle School, Hawaii

Eximius College Preparatory Academy, N.Y.C.

Friendship Central School, Western N.Y. State

J.E. Brown Middle School, Atlanta

Jeremiah E. Burke High School, Boston

Kohala High School, Hawaii

Loreto College, Ireland

Marian College, Ireland

Mulberry Middle School, Florida

Pelham Preparatory Academy, N.Y.C.

Rock Creek Grant School, South Dakota

Saranac High School, Adirondacks

St. Joseph’s Rush, Ireland

St. Mark’s Community School, Ireland

St. Paul’s Community College, Ireland

Ticonderoga Middle and High School, Adirondacks