Cate School Freshman Wins Highest KIPP Award

It’s no surprise that each student who enters Cate demonstrates achievement and shows promise, but incoming ninth grader Clinton Hall of Chicago has already been publicly honored for both. Hall, a product of KIPP Ascend Charter School in Chicago, recently earned the Doris Fisher KIPPster of the Year (KOTY) Award at the annual KIPP School Summit, held earlier this summer in Orlando.

The (KOTY) Award is an annual college scholarship award given to select eighth-grade students from KIPP schools across the country. Recipients are chosen for demonstrating personal and academic excellence, as well as for their impact on their communities, schools, and peers through exceptional practices of leadership and character. This year, Hall was one of six recipients.

Hall, who did not know he would be receiving the award, was introduced to three thousand conference attendees with the following citation:

“This student refuses to let the challenges of his daily life interfere with his pursuit of excellence at KIPP. He has kept a laser focus on his studies and it has paid off; he has maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA for all four years at KIPP. This student’s excellence is not just limited to his own report card. When his English teacher seated him next to a fellow student who was struggling and unmotivated, he encouraged and supported his classmate on every assignment, until both of them were getting A’s in the class. Further channeling his enthusiasm for learning, this student wrote a song about his class’s motto, “Reverse the Stats,” to motivate the 80 students in his grade. The 8th graders at his school still sing this song regularly. As his assistant principal says, ‘He does not settle for less than excellence.'”

“My heart skipped a beat when I realized I was receiving this award,” says 14-year old Hall, who then made his way to the stage with the other recipients. “Not only was I surprised but relieved; relieved that all my hard work paid off and I was being recognized as a leader.”

Hall joins Cate’s Class of 2016, and will begin classes in late August.

“Clinton stood out during the application process as not only an exceptional student but also a passionate advocate for others,” says Cate’s Director of Admission Charlotte Brownlee ’85. ” We are thrilled he has chosen to attend Cate and anticipate a wonderful four years with him.”

Doris Fisher, for whom the KOTY awards is named, is a KIPP Foundation co-founder, KIPP Foundation board member, Gap Inc. co-founder, and philanthropist. A committee that includes Mrs. Fisher, the co-founders of the national KIPP charter school network, and other educators selected the Doris Fisher Award winners. Clinton and the five other 2012 winners received $10,000 in scholarship funds to help offset the cost of college.

KIPP, or Knowledge is Power Program, is a national network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public charter schools that prepares students in underserved communities for success in college and in life.

About Cate School

Founded in 1910, Cate School is a grade 9-12, coeducational, college preparatory boarding school in Carpinteria, California. What began as a group of twelve boys and a few teachers has expanded into a 265-student, 65-teacher, deeply academic and talented community with the most diverse student body of any boarding school of its size in the United States. The faculty are experts in their fields: 74% hold advanced degrees, 18% of these have PhDs. Cate is one of this nation�s most selective boarding schools, accepting only 20% applicants each year. 52% of Cate’s most recent graduating class attend the 25 top-ranked colleges and universities in the country. The Cate experience combines academics, athletics, art and co-curricular activities in a close-knit, community setting where students are enriched by their relationships with their teachers and each other. When students leave Cate, they have the tools and the conviction to seek out lives full of purpose and meaning.


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