How does a low income, high poverty small-town school with a diverse student population defy the academic outcomes predicted by research? Join a stellar boots-on-the-ground team from the highly acclaimed Pass Christian High School to learn how a sequence of strategies has enabled Pass High students to rise to the top and sustain this position year after year. Featured in the ASCD book, Disrupting Poverty, student results indicate that building relationships and embracing a shared set of beliefs translates into actions which brings about consistently high performance.
Dr. Robyn Killebrew is a 16-year educator who supports administrators, faculty, staff, parents, and students in grades pre-k through 12 in the Pass Christian Public Schools through her role as the district’s Assistant Curriculum Director. Her experiences in education include a strong foundation rooted in teaching, coaching, and high school administration – leading diverse teams of players, students, and educators to achieve outstanding, documented results. Additionally, she was honored with the often-called ‘Oscars of Education’ when she received the Milken Educator Award in 2017.
Mrs. Patty Cooper has been an educator for 20 years serving as a classroom teacher, elementary school administrator, curriculum specialist, and most recently as the Chief Academic Officer of the Pass Christian Public School District. She is responsible for working with principals and teachers to administer, direct, and coordinate district instructional programs to ensure that students graduate high school college- and career-ready. Mrs. Cooper has served on several state and national committees, such as the Partnership for Assessment for Readiness for College and Careers and Mississippi Academic Assessment Program.
Dr. Tyra Bailey is a National Board-Certified School Counselor who served as a school counselor for 13 years for Pass Christian High School. She was responsible for implementing a comprehensive school counseling program that included supporting the social and emotional needs of students so they could be prepared for academic rigor, removing barriers to ensure students can reach their potential, and providing support to develop college and career plans. Dr. Bailey has also worked as a classroom teacher and she currently serves as the Director of Student Assessment for the Pass Christian Public School District.
Mr. Boyd West is the principal of Pass Christian High School and is entering his 26th year as an educator and 14th as a school or district level administrator. His passion for connecting students to career fields led to the implementation of a successful career academy in another district and an innovative approach to career readiness at Pass Christian High School. Mr. West leads a team of teachers and counselors who imbed career connections into the academic curriculum and provide multiple opportunities for students to gain real world experience through projects and authentic experiences.