Two WCSD Signature Academies Each Get $200,000 - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Two WCSD Signature Academies Each Get $200,000

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The William N. Pennington Foundation has funded a $400,000 grant to the Washoe County School District (WCSD) in support of the High School Signature Academies. The Reno High School Red House Project and Proctor R. Hug High School's Health Science Academy each will receive $200,000 for the 2012-2013 school year.

Founded by the late gaming pioneer and philanthropist, William N. Pennington, the Pennington Foundation provides support to northern Nevada non-profit organizations.

"The William N. Pennington Foundation has truly made an investment in our future, and we are grateful for this generous gift to our Signature Academies," said Superintendent Pedro Martinez. "These academies are preparing students to enter college or the workforce and do their part to make our community and our economy stronger. The support of the foundation is helping to make these programs possible."

The WCSD Signature Academies provide innovative programs for students who want to explore specific programs, topics, and themes during their high school careers while continuing to take classes in core subjects including math, science, and English. The academies provide career- and industry-based programs that provide students with an opportunity to explore areas of interest while still in high school.

"The generosity of the William N. Pennington Foundation will help Reno expand its program to reach more students, and Hug will be able to provide even greater exposure to health care and health care technologies," said Nita Losoponkul, director of Talent Acquisition and Development for WCSD. "With the budget cuts over the last few years, our teachers' fabulous ideas have not always become a reality, but these monies will help bring them to life."

The Reno High School Red House Project combines curriculum focusing on film, video, and graphic design. The 75 students who are enrolled in this program learn the necessary computer languages and software needed to complete their work. The project-based environment mirrors real-life working situations, providing skills for students who decide to go on to college or pursue careers in digital media upon graduation from high school. During their high school years, students also serve internships in the field to further their educational goals.

The Proctor R. Hug High School Health Science Academy works in partnership with the School of Medicine at the University of Nevada to provide training for 25 students who are considering a career in healthcare. Students may prepare for careers in medical or dental assisting, dental hygiene, sports medicine, or becoming a Certified Nurse Assistant while continuing to take courses in core subjects. The Health Science Academy is affiliated with Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), a national student organization that promotes career opportunities in healthcare.

From the Washoe County School District

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