It's official: PUSD maintains 10 Distinguished Academies

There's a saying that goes something like it's more difficult to stay on top than to get there.

The Porterville Unified School District has been able to maintain its success when it comes to its now 10 Distinguished Academies in its Pathways program. Last week NAF, formerly known as the National Academy Foundation, officially released its lost of 201 academies where were recognized as Katherine Blasik Distinguished Academies, which is NAF's highest honor.

PUSD had 10 Pathways on the list who were recognized as Distinguished Academies. Nine of the Pathways maintained their status as Distinguished Academies as they were repeat honorees while Monache's Environmental Science Academy, ESA, became the district's 10 Pathway to receive the honor.

NAF, formerly known as the National Academy Foundation, is a national education program that operates and assesses academies across the country.

Of the 20 academies who have received distinguished status in California, 10 are PUSD Pathways. The other nine Pathways to maintain their status as distinguished academies are:

Granite Hills Academy of Education, ACE; Granite Hills Academy of Law, Justice and Ethics: Harmony Magnet Academy of Engineering; Harmony Academy of Performing Arts: Monache Academy of Multimedia and Technology; Monache Academy of Hospitality and Tourism; Porterville High Academy of Energy Resources Occupations; Porterville High Academy of Business and Finance: Porterville High Academy of Health Science; Strathmore High Academy of Emerging Agricultural Technology.

PUSD Pathways director Cynthia Brown said “it's quite a feat to achieve the award and ti maintain it.” Brown noted a “thorough data analysis” is done to determine the academies who score high enough in the four criteria to earn distinguished status:

Work-based learning; advisory board structure; instruction and curriculum: and the overall development of the academy.

Site visits are conducted to determine an academy's score. NAF's annual assessment measures an academy's ability to implement NAF's result-driven design to prepare students for college and careers.

NAF”s annual assessments help academies assess their progress in meeting NAF's standards which were developed by researches and those from other career and pathway organizations.

“It's quite a feat for the school site,” including the staff, students and the stake holders, those from the community who work with the Pathways, to earn distinguished status, Brown said.

“To be recognized on the national level has put Porterville on the map.” The distinguished academies will be recognized during the NAF Conference in Phoenix in July. Brown noted when Porterville representatives attend the national conference they are recognized by others at the conference.

“Congratulations to all our Katherine Blasik Distinguished and NAF Model academies and a special welcome to our academies joining the roster for the first time,” NAF Chief Executive Officer Lisa Dughi said. “Your hard work, strong commitment, and proven contributions to student success are an outstanding example to the rest of the NAF network. We applaud you and thank you for everything that you do both today and to build a better future.”

For more information about NAF, visit For more information about PUSD's Pathways programs visit Source: Porterville Recorder