WHS Honored For Beating the Odds

WHS Honored For Beating the Odds

Dr. Marjorie Kaplan, director of the Beat the Odds Institute and Dr. Lattie Coor, chairman and CEO of the Center for the Future of Arizona, presented Washington High School with a Gold Medal and the distinction of becoming a Beat the Odds School. 

This year, Washington is one of three high schools joining the Beat the Odds Gold ranks, making for only five high schools that have achieved that honor and status. Beat the Odds began as a research study in 2001 through the Center for the Future of Arizona in response to a report that raised concerns about the academic progress of Latino students, who traditionally suffer from low achievement gains and graduation rates. The report also noted that education is the key to prosperity for individuals, families, and for the state of Arizona as a whole. 

Former principal of WHS Carol Lippert began working with the Beat the Odds Institute in 2011 and program director Marty Hoeffel to help WHS become more successful with all students regardless of demographics. 

Senior class president Liliana Matancillas, the youngest of six children, is a perfect example of how WHS is successfully beating the odds. “My family and I lived in and out of homeless shelters for several years,” she explained. “The teachers and administrators at Washington never gave up on me.” One of her older sisters graduated from WHS a few years ago, but none of Liliana’s other siblings or parents graduated from high school; in fact, grandparents did not even attend high school. Yet Liliana will not only graduate this May; she will do so with honors and a full scholarship to attend NAU in the fall.