Alumnus Anthony Johnson, Associate Principal of Merced High School in California, has helped the school gain 68 API points in the last three years, making it one of the highest performing schools in California.
More than 70% of Merced High School's students are considered socioeconomically disadvantaged, but thanks to the hard work of Anthony and the school's teachers and staff, they are beating the odds.
Among other best practices, Anthony cites the importance of teachers' relationships with students.
"Research says if we want to 'take it to the next level,' you have to have relationships with students if you want rigor and relevance. Relationships make that possible," Johnson said. "If a student knows you care and you're invested in making them successful, they will stretch themselves to the next level."