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America’s Top Public High Schools and Doodle 4 Google’s Contest: Any Correlations?

What a wonderful world Rose Miao Pattison Elementary School Texas Grades 4  6 .jpgNewsweek just published the list of the 1,300 top U. S. public high schools. Any moment from now, Google will announce the winner of their Doodle 4 Google contest.

For the fun of it, I brought these two events together. I amused myself finding out if there was any correlation between being a Doodle 4 Google contest finalist and attending a top U. S. public high school.

Here are my findings. The only high school that appear
ed on the Newsweek “Top of the Class” list and produced a finalist for the Google contest was Boca Raton Community High School, Florida. Whitley Sullivan attends the 142nd ranked 9 – 12 high school. Her entry, Wisdom At Your Fingertips” summarizes Google’s mission.

 What if... What if wisdom and power were at your fingertips. You just might have the answer for everything – Google,” Whitley Sullivan wrote and doodled.

Of the remaining high school finalists, one is a charter school, Fort Worth Academy Of Fine Arts, Texas. Victoria Flores attends that school. Her entry celebrates live music.

The only private and parochial high school student on the shortlist is Alice Cao. She attends Thomas More Prep - Marian High School, Kansas. She dreams of Google the Peacemaker.

Here is the list of the other high school finalists who did not come from the top 1,300 U. S. high schools. 

  • Paul Massicott of Haddam-Killingworth High School, Connecticut
  • Zachary Urtes of Patapsco High School And Center For The Arts, Maryland
  • Kristen Birdsey of Hopewell Valley Regional Central High School, New Jersey
  • Shelby Whalen of Corunna High School, Michigan
  • Cherry Rose of Lynn Camp High School, Kentucky
  • Gabriel Kitzman, Elbert School Dist. #200, Colorado
  • Mariam Hovhannisyan, International Community School, Washington
  • Daniel Miller of Jackson Jr. High School, West Virginia
  • Allison Press, Chapel Hill High School, North Carolina
  • Leslie Saldaña, Spring Valley High School, Nevada
  • Shanna Schacher of Wahtonka Campus in Oregon

There appears to be no correlation between attending one of the 1,300 top U. S. high schools and being a Doodle 4 Google 2008 contest finalist. Further research needs to be conducted for a more conclusive result.

Read Newsweek’s report 

To find out the winner, simply Google “Doodle 4 Google Contest Winner.”





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There is no surprise in the cursory findings of your "study". If we take Howard Gardners research of "areas of giftedness" into account, the basics of the education system embrace two or three at best (of eight or nine possible). Artistic talents are barely recognized by the pre-college education system. Most recently, Gardner has been researching whether there is a brain center accountable for Spiritual Giftedness, which is the potential number nine. Can you imagine a world where the basis of education honored and appreciated every person's special talents? Can you imagine Spirituality as subject matter in the schools? Unfortunately, it still requires a LOT of imagination... but I think it's a great goal!

My Master of Arts degree from Seattle University is in Spirituality Studies. I experienced studying spirituality in an ecumenical context at the post college level. It is a little stretch for me to imagine "a world where the basis of education honored and appreciated every person's special talents"....and "Spirituality (...is...) subject matter in the schools" at the pre-college level. What, in practical terms, would an educational system where "spirituality" not "religion" is the foundation look like in the pre-college educational system in America?

Perhaps you should see how many of the doodle for google people attend art schools....

That is an idea that did not occur to me when I was having fun checking the high schools against the list. But are there U. S. high schools that specialize in fine art?

Near home, Marysville offers the Marysville Arts and Technology High School. For those who find disadvantages in the enormous districts, the advantages gleam in programs like these. I read that south of Seattle, one of the districts offers a High School with dance, radio broadcasting and art as its focus. They are magnet programs, often with application processes and waiting lists.

How can a spirituality focused curriculum be designed for the early grades and high schools? And how is spirituality present or absent in pre-college schools in the US today? Are there programs like Seeds of Compassion geared towards students and their teachers common? Lots of questions. Pick your choice.

As far as curriculum design is concerned, I work with the Learning Improvement Team in our High School. The "school" does choose a program that attempts to create an atmosphere of positive interaction, in all ways, parent/student/teacher/administration. I haven't assessed these programs, but the Team seemed to find the one based on "Love and Logic" to be the highest caliber.
If we could change just ONE thing, and know that it would make a world of difference, I would choose teacher education. If the teachers were introduced to and supported in their own "perfection", valued for their individuality, loved and listened to... then they were taught about Gardner's facets of giftedness, nudged in ways to recognize, utilize, and value the gifts of each unique student, the snowball effect would be phenomenal!
Upon this base, and starting at the earliest age, times of silence for contemplation, sharing of diversity, and reflection upon the value of each unique child in all program areas would definitely result in "spirituality"... a sense of Oneness, and overall unconditional love.

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