Announcing the 2011 Race to the Top Commencement Challenge Finalists

Today, we announced the six finalists for the 2011 Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge.

Congratulations to:

  • Bridgeport High School (Bridgeport, Washington)
  • Wayne Early Middle College High School (Goldsboro, North Carolina)
  • Booker T. Washington High School (Memphis, Tennessee)
  • Science Park High School (Newark, New Jersey)
  • Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, School for Creative and Performing Arts (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
  • High Tech High School International (San Diego, California)

We received hundreds of outstanding applications, and it was incredibly difficult to choose from among so many inspiring and deserving schools. 

White House staffers Lauren Paige and Gannet Tseggai called each of the six finalists to share the good news.  Take a look at some of their enthusiastic responses:

Watch the video of the phone calls to the six finalists here.

Last year, President Obama launched the first ever Race to the Top Commencement Challenge and encouraged public high schools across the country to show how they are preparing students for college and career. This year, the President renewed the challenge, calling on high schools to share effective strategies on how they are preparing their students to win the future and achieve the goal of having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.

So, what happens next?  In the coming weeks, we’ll feature the six finalists on and let you vote for your favorites.  The top three schools will then be sent to the President for the final selection. 

Stay tuned to so you can help choose the winning high school.

Learn more about Race to the Top.

Melody Barnes is Director of the Domestic Policy Council