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KOHALA — Kohala High School and August Ahrens Elementary School, Blanche Pope Elementary School and Dole Middle School on Oahu have been recognized by CFES Brilliant Pathways as Schools of Distinction.

“I was elated to hear that Kohala High School was named as a School of Distinction because it validated the dedicated work of teachers of our CFES scholars in creating clear pathways to college and sustainable careers,” Kohala HS’s Principal Janette Snelling said Friday.

The honor acknowledges the creation and execution of an exemplary plan for the entire school in CFES core practices.

“This partnership has been helped us to pool our resources in order to meet specific needs of our scholars. We have been able to create community service opportunities, internships, early college courses, AVID supports, counseling, mentoring and college admission related activities,” Snelling said.

As they expand to school-wide implementation, each Kohala HS student is assigned an adult mentor in school that stays with them for the duration of their high school career.

“Our CFES involvement has underscored the importance of building mutual relationships of trust with our students to be in the best position to nurture future leaders and engaged citizens,” Snelling said.

The Hawaii schools are among 28 in the U.S. and Ireland that received the School of Distinction status. As such, these schools engaged in a year-long process to implement innovative programs, build a school-wide focus on college and career readiness and engage families as partners in school activities.

“Our CFES teachers communicate regularly with parents, who are provided with informational materials, workshops and invitations to participate along with students in community service opportunities,” Snelling explained.

Embracing CFES core practices has had an influence on more students desiring to go to college, she added.

“These schools are global models,” Rick Dalton said, 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.”

Schools that received this award for the 2017-18 academic year will be honored at the CFES Brilliant Pathways Conference on Nov. 3 in Burlington, Vermont.