Paly named as a Top 10 finalist in World’s Best School Prize for Innovative Media Arts program


Isabella Bian, Staff writer

T4 Education has named Palo Alto High School as one of its top 10 finalists in the Innovation category of the World’s Best School Prizes competition.

T4 Education is an international organization that aims to support schools by highlighting innovative practices in schools, and the World’s Best School Prizes recognizes schools who excel in one of five categories: community collaboration, environmental action, innovation, overcoming adversity and supporting healthy lives.

All 50 shortlisted schools will be invited to share their best practices through events on the T4 Communities app or School Transformation Toolkits.

Journalism adviser Brian Wilson said Paly’s journalism program was a focus of the school’s application.

“We have students doing such cool things that are important and valuable, and even if they’re not going to study journalism in the future, being part of a media arts program is an invaluable experience, no matter what you end up doing,” Wilson said.

Journalism students helped to gather the materials and make media needed to complete the application, including rising seniors Clare Antonow and Tate Hardy, Wilson said. Outside of the journalism program, other Media Arts and CTE programs were featured in the application including early childhood development, computer science and audio and music production.

Principal Brent Kline said he is proud of the recognition the media arts and CTE programs are receiving and said his involvement in the application process helped him appreciate the quality of the various programs housed in the Media Arts Center.

“I didn’t realize the magnitude of this beautiful building that we have, but also what’s inside of it and the supporting programs that not only echo the great achievements of our school but our communities as well,” Kline said.

The Top 3 finalists for each of the five World’s Best School Prize categories will be announced in September followed by the winners in October. According to a T4 education press release, the winner of each Prize will be chosen based on rigorous criteria by a Judging Academy comprising distinguished leaders across the globe including academics, educators, NGOs, social entrepreneurs, government, civil society and the private sector.

A $250,000 prize will be equally shared among the winners of the top five Prizes, with each program receiving an award of $50,000.

If Paly wins one of the grand prizes, Kline said the money will be invested back into the journalism program to help continue the program’s outreach to underrepresented minority groups.

He said, “The focus if we win the prize money is to increase opportunity for all kids, especially kids that might not have had the access or the opportunity to be in this program.”

For more information:
Announcement video

T4 information about Paly’s honor

World’s Best School Prizes’ website