Berkeley High Chosen for Energy Academy

Related Articles »

  • Printer Friendly Printer Friendly
  • Comments Comments (0)

Berkeley High School was selected as one of five schools in the state for a program to prepare students for green jobs, as announced by PG&E at a launch event yesterday.

The New Energy Academy is the result of a partnership between PG&E, the California Department of Education and CaliforniaALL, a nonprofit education group.

The academy is designed to better prepare students for opportunities in the growing field of the energy sector.

"This really is a cause for celebration," said Jack O'Connell, California superintendent of Public Instruction. "This partnership will really create ... careers (and) exciting opportunities. This really is a new economy ... we clearly need to have a well-educated, problem-solving workforce."

The New Energy Academy will function as a sort of "school within a school," according to O'Connell, and will allow students to explore their unique interests within the growing field of green energy.

Berkeley High School already takes part in four of these partnership academies, including the Arts and Humanity Academy and the Community Partnerships Academy.

O'Connell praises the fact that the program will prepare students and maximize their potential, saying that college and a career are deeply connected.

Valeria Gonzalez, student director of the Berkeley Unified School District's Board of Education and a senior at Berkeley High School, noted that the students' interest in the program will lead to greater student involvement in school.

Andrea Goodman of PG&E-the main partner in this endeavor-was the one who first came up with the vision for the academy. According to Goodman, she was inspired by the partnership model and linked attributes of PG&E, such as its field of work, to the education of students.

The schools selected to participate in the pilot program were picked based on what O'Connell calls the "three R's:" rigorous academics, relevant world focus and relationship with invested adults.

"Berkeley already has a vision-it's not just talk," Goodman said. "It was a natural fit-(the) visions aligned."

According to Calif. Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Oakland, this vision is not limited to preparing students for their future careers, but is also an effort to combat issues such as climate change and global warming, as well as to prepare future generations to do so.

Berkeley is already dedicated to its reputation as what Mayor Tom Bates called a "national environmental powerhouse," participating in programs such as the East Bay Green Corridor, a group of area cities that collaborate on green efforts. Bates called the New Energy Academy a "bridge," and cited it as a way for students to be integrated into the corridor.

"The work that we're doing here in Berkeley is a partnership," said Bill Huyett, superintendent of the school district. "This really is a great high school. We're really here for the kids."

The 2009 academic year is a planning year for the New Energy Academy to lay down a foundation for fall 2010, when the program itself will begin. PG&E expects to provide $19 million in charitable funding for curriculum planning and teacher development, along with industry experts who will aid in the effort.

"Everybody involved wins," O'Connell said. "And of course the biggest winners are the students."


Contact Denise at [email protected]

Comments (0) »

Comment Policy
The Daily Cal encourages readers to voice their opinions respectfully in regards to both the readers and writers of The Daily Californian. Comments are not pre-moderated, but may be removed if deemed to be in violation of this policy. Comments should remain on topic, concerning the article or blog post to which they are connected. Brevity is encouraged. Posting under a pseudonym is discouraged, but permitted. Click here to read the full comment policy.
White space
Left Arrow
Local Schools
Image Elementary school adopts 'Green Star' program
Last Friday was Earth Day, a day recognized in many countries for cele...Read More»
Local Schools
Image Student sues her counselor
A 17-year-old female Berkeley High School student is suing the Berkeley Uni...Read More»
Local Schools
Image Seismic safety report questioned by locals
Despite a recent report that revealed up to 10 schools in the Berkeley Un...Read More»
Local Schools
Image Berkeley High Considers Safety In Wake of Firearm ...
Berkeley High School parent Joyce Fleming spoke with a d...Read More»
Local Schools
Image Supervisor Aims for Classroom Equity
Pamela Harrison-Small calls herself a "family person." Not only is this qua...Read More»
Local Schools
Image Community Members Gather to Promote Pedestrian Saf...
Parents, students and other members of the South Berkele...Read More»
Right Arrow

Job Postings

White Space