The ribbon-cutting and naming ceremony at Catherine O'Donovan Middle Academy and William and Carol Ouchi High School on January 14, 2010, was an important milestone in the Alliance's progress. The event was marked by congratulations to William and Carol Ouchi and the Frank McHugh family as well as recognition of the Alliance's educational model as a winning formula for student achievement. Click here to read the L.A. Times story "Top-Scoring Charter School Named for UCLA Professor."
UCLA Professor Bill Ouchi spoke passionately about his own path to education and invoked powerful images in telling his very personal: a grandmother who cut sugar cane in the fields of Hawaii and a father-in-law who was stripped of his business and interned in a relocation camp for Japanese-Americans in the United States during World War II. "All of our ancestors endured hardship," he said while guests and students gave him a standing ovation.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan sent congratulations via Ted Mitchell, president of the California State Board of Education and Alliance Board Member, and California Superintendent of Education Jack O'Connell. "Your philosophy works, " O'Connell said of the Alliance mission. "High expectations and high standards work." O'Connell credited Alliance schools with embracing the new three Rs: rigor (for the college-prep curricula), relevance (for the much-needed reform in public education) and relationships (for engaging parents and the community in our important mission).
"In Sacramento, Ted and I take full credit for your hard work," O'Connell joked, telling students that he too was first in his family to go to college or even set foot on a college campus.
Ouchi High Principal Ena LaVan and O'Donovan Middle Academy Principal Rosalio Medrano spoke about the importance in quality and choice their schools bring to the community.
L.A. Councilman Bernard Parks, former L.A. Mayor and Alliance Board Member Dick Riordan, LAUSD Board President Monica Garcia were among the honored guests who took to the podium to congratulate the Alliance, the Ouchis and the McHugh family at this extraordinary event.
Ouchi High School is a 2009 California Distinguished School with a 2009 API score of 799. The school will celebrate its first graduating class at UCLA's Royce Hall in June 2010. O'Donovan Middle Academy adds another grade level in the 2010-11 academic year and has a 2009 API score of 725.