2018 Kent Awards Recognize Innovative Programs in San Mateo County

April 25, 2018

To download a PDF of the press release, click here.

REDWOOD CITY, CA – April 23, 2018 – The San Mateo County School Boards Association (SMCSBA) today announced the 2018 recipients of the J. Russell Kent Awards. SMCSBA represents the governing boards of the County’s 23 local school districts, the Community College District, and the San Mateo County Office of Education.

Named after former San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools J. Russell Kent, the awards were initiated in 1981 to recognize outstanding and innovative programs throughout the county. Applicants must demonstrate that their programs have clear and intentional goals, promote student success, employ a high degree of creativity, and demonstrate transferability.

This year’s 16 honorees include programs that focus on literacy and reading, computer science, equity and access, social-emotional learning, and pathways to college and career. The 2018 Kent Award recipients include:

School Site Programs

Redwood Shores Preschool Buddies Program
Redwood Shores Elementary School
Belmont-Redwood Shores School District

Big Coyote/Little Coyote
Pilarcitos High School
Cabrillo Unified School District

Farallone View Extended Academic Center
Farallone View Elementary School
Cabrillo Unified School District

Embracing Our Differences Month
Oak Knoll Elementary School
Menlo Park City School District

After School Enrichment Program
Vallemar School
Pacifica School District

Grand Canyon Ecology Trek
John F. Kennedy Middle School
Redwood City School District

Literacy Initiative and Family Literacy Initiative
McKinley Institute of Technology
Redwood City School District

Bayside Academy FAB Lab
Bayside STEM Academy
San Mateo-Foster City School District

Flex Time
Aragon High School
San Mateo Union High School District

College Going East Palo Alto Academy
East Palo Alto Academy
Sequoia Union High School District

Woodside High School Senior Thesis
Woodside High School
Sequoia Union High School District

District-/Countywide Programs

Behavioral Education Support Team
Belmont-Redwood Shores School District

San Bruno Park Student Health Center
San Bruno Park School District

San Mateo Environmental Learning Collaborative
San Mateo County Office of Education

Mental Health Wellness Program
San Mateo Union High School District

Joint District Programs

Project Change
San Mateo County Community College District
San Mateo County Office of Education

“The Kent Awards continue to be a highlight of the year for districts and school board members throughout the county,” said SMCSBA President Marc Friedman (San Mateo Union High SD). “These 16 recipients demonstrate that our San Mateo County educators are continually innovating and improving the education of our county’s students.”

This year, the San Mateo County Office of Education will be sponsoring the first ever Excellence in Education and Equity Award at the Kent Awards celebration. This special award will recognize a team of educators from among the Kent Award recipients for their collaborative work in closing the achievement and opportunity gaps in San Mateo County.

The event will also honor this year’s winner of the annual Emily Garfield Preventive Counseling Award, Judy Romero of Sequoia High School (Sequoia Union High SD). The Emily Garfield Award was established through a grant from Youth Empowering Systems to honor local education pioneer Emily Garfield and recognize outstanding work in the areas of substance-abuse prevention, youth development, and community wellness.

The Kent Awards ceremony will be held on Friday, May 18, at 6 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Foster City, California.

For more information about SMCSBA or the Kent Awards presentation and banquet please visit

About the San Mateo County School Boards Association

The San Mateo County School Boards Association represents the 23 school districts, the Community College District and County Office of Education in San Mateo County, California. SMCSBA supports the governance team — school board trustees, superintendents and senior administrative staff –through education on critical public education issues and networking opportunities for its members. SMCSBA is a chapter of the California School Boards Association and is involved in developing, communicating and advocating the perspective of California school districts and county offices of education.

For more information or to schedule a press briefing, please contact:
Marc Friedman
President, San Mateo County School Boards Association
Trustee, San Mateo Union High School District

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