News Releases

APRIL 23, 2020

New York High School Captures 2020 Follett Challenge Grand Prize


Follett Honors 19 Schools/Districts; Awards Total of $200,000 in Products and Services

Mineola High School of Garden City Park, N.Y., today was named the Grand Prize winner of the 2020 Follett Challenge. The Nassau County-based school, with an enrollment of 1,026 students, earns $30,000 in Follett products and services and a celebration at their school for its entry, “Empowered Students: Preparing Students for the 4th Industrial Revolution.”

“We are focusing on empowering our students through programs and opportunities designed for all students,” wrote Jeffrey Appelbaum, librarian/media specialist, as part of the winning school’s entry. “Empowerment involves student agency over learning in a curriculum committed to student interests and personalized learning. It also involves physical environments that look and function in radically different ways, facilitating the development of passions while inspiring students to be creators.”

The Follett Challenge, in its ninth year, awarded a total of $200,000 USD in products and services from Follett to the schools/districts that nominated their innovative educational programs which teach 21st-century skills to students and illustrate critical thinking, communication, creativity, and collaboration.

A panel of judges, including best-selling author and global literacy advocate James Patterson, named Mineola High School as one of the competition’s nine semifinalists, three each from the elementary, middle and high school categories. Mineola High was then singled out as the top entry.

Joining Mineola as high school semifinalists are:

The middle school semifinalists are:

The elementary school semifinalists are:

Each of the nine semifinalists earn $15,000 in Follett products and services. Mineola High School receives an additional $15,000 in products and services as the overall winner.

Today’s announcement also revealed the 10 People’s Choice winners — those schools whose video submissions received the highest number of online votes from the public. Each of the winning schools win $5,000 in Follett products and services.

The 10 People’s Choice winners are:

  1. MISSISSIPPI: Gulfport High School; Gulfport, Miss.; video
  2. MICHIGAN: University Liggett School; Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.; video
  3. FLORIDA: Lorenzo Walker Technical High School/Collier County Public Schools; Naples, Fla.; video
  4. NEW YORK: College Point Collaborative; College Point, N.Y.; video
  5. WASHINGTON: Henrietta Lacks Health & Bioscience High School/Evergreen Public Schools; Vancouver, Wash.; video
  6. CALIFORNIA: Western High School/Anaheim Union High School District; Anaheim, Calif.; video
  7. MASSACHUSETTS: Fairhaven Public Schools; Fairhaven, Mass.; video
  8. ARIZONA: Sevilla West Elementary/Alhambra Elementary School District; Phoenix, Ariz.; video
  9. CANADA: École Willow Point Elementary/SD72 Campbell River; Campbell River, B.C.; video
  10. KANSAS: Blue Valley West High School/Blue Valley School District; Overland Park, Kan.; video

“Every year, we see schools, big and small, win the Follett Challenge and positively impact education and their school for years to come,” said Britten Follett, executive vice president, Follett School Solutions. “Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Follett Challenge. Your stories of innovation continue to inspire us, and whether you are taking home a prize or not, we hope you agree the process of collaborating was worth it. Because, truly, that’s what education is all about and the foundation of the Follett Challenge!”

All entrants in the 2020 Follett Challenge completed an online application and submitted a three- to five-minute video outlining how their program has made a positive impact. The annual competition is open to all public and private K-12 schools/districts in the United States, Canada, and Australia.

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