Follett Challenge Reveals Semifinalists, Peoples Choice Winners

High number of 243,000 votes cast to determine best entrant videos

February 13, 2015 - McHenry, IL — 

Organizers of the $200,000 Follett Challenge today announced the three semifinalists and 10 “People’s Choice” video winners for the 2015 contest. Now in its fourth year, the Follett Challenge is designed to empower educators with a platform to tell the world how their innovative teaching and learning programs are preparing students for the demands of the 21st century.

The three semifinalists each submitted a written entry and a video, and were the agreed-upon winners based 80% on their written entry and 20% on the number of public votes received. Two judging panels named these schools as the semifinalists:

Elementary School Category

Park Glen Elementary, Keller Independent School District, Fort Worth, TX
See the video entry here: "Watch Out! Here Come Our Tech Ninjas!"

Middle School Category

O'Neill Middle School, Downers Grove School District #58, Downers Grove, IL
See the video entry here: "Conquest of the Realm"

High School Category

The Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria/Queens, Astoria, NY
See the video entry here: "Intensives - Learning Without Walls"

The grand-prize winner will be announced on April 30 and chosen by an expert panel from among the semifinalists. The semifinalists each win $30,000 in products and services from Follett, while the grand-prize winner earns an additional $30,000, plus an award celebration at their school.

The 10 “People’s Choice” winners – those schools whose videos of three to five minutes in length received the highest number of online votes from the public – each earn $8,000 prizes. More than 243,000 votes were cast this year, representing a dramatic 800 percent increase in votes from the contest’s inaugural year in 2011. More than 68,000 views of entrant videos were made.

“This year we saw new enthusiasm and community involvement on the part of all entrants,” said Tom Schenck, President of Follett School Solutions. “It speaks to the energy and the innovation inherent in the learning programs at today's schools. The Follett Challenge, and the great stories it reveals, reminds us why we’re in this business.”

Here is a look at the Top 10 People’s Choice vote getters:

  1. Atlantic City High School; Atlantic City, NJ
  2. Vestavia Hills Elementary Central/Vestavia Hills City Schools; Birmingham, AL
  3. Doss Elementary/Austin Independent School District; Austin, TX
  4. Burbank School District 111; Burbank, IL
  5. Marist High School; Chicago, IL
  6. Echo Hill Elementary/Linn-Mar; Marion, IA
  7. Oak Ridge Middle School/Linn-Mar Community School District; Marion, IA
  8. Gering High School; Gering, NB
  9. Goffstown High School; Goffstown, NH
  10. Valley Stream UFSD 24; Valley Stream, NY

For more information on the Follett Challenge, visit www.follettchallenge.com.

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