A group of those involved in the Los Alamos Odyssey Super School Project gathered Wednesday at the Los Alamos Daily Post headquarters to watch the announcement of school projects selected to receive $10 million in funds from the The XQ Institute, a California-based organization of entrepreneurs and educators seeking to change the way high school is taught in the 21st century.
The contest was funded by a $50 million donation from Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple Computer founder Steve Jobs.
The Los Alamos project was a finalist, but not among the schools chosen for funding. Those involved in the project said they were not giving up on bringing the Odyssey project to fruition.
“The School Board has been extremely supportive of the concept,” School Board Member and Odyssey project participant Bill Hargraves said. “We will be regrouping and coming up with a proposal for the School Board. We will be presenting our ideas and answering questions at an upcoming meeting soon.”
Team member and elementary school teacher Michele Altherr said, “The group is dedicated to solving the problems in our way, and those are the same skills we want to foster in our students. More than 1,000 people have talked with us and shared their ideas.”
Parent Erik Swensen said, “The community should be proud to be in the top 50 schools considered [by the XQ Project].”
Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus attended the event and said he is excited to see the Odyssey group’s plans.