Pendergast District earns top honor in 2021 National Magna Awards program for equity work - AZEdNews
Sections    Friday March 24th, 2023

Pendergast District earns top honor in 2021 National Magna Awards program for equity work

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  • Nedda Shafir   |   Pendergast Elementary School District

Pendergast Students Doing Classwork. Photo Courtesy Pendergast Elementary School District

Pendergast Elementary School District is a National School Boards Association (NSBA) 2021 Magna Award winner. Pendergast was recognized for its commitment to equity as a first place winner in the 27th annual Magna Awards program.

Pendergast is one of 15 winners — three Grand Prize and 12 first place winners — across the nation receiving this honor.

Sponsored by NSBA’s flagship magazine, American School Board Journal, the Magna Awards honor districts across the country for their programs that advance equity and break down barriers for underserved students.

Pendergast District earns top honor in 2021 National Magna Awards program for equity work Pendergast-School-District-Logo

Pendergast was selected as a winner by an independent panel of school board members, administrators, and other educators.

Pendergast District is known as a highly innovative, solution oriented district, focused on student success. Always looking for ways to engage students in higher levels of thinking and learning, the district engaged in a partnership with Arizona State University Prep Digital, which is now in its 4th year. 

ASU Prep Digital is an accredited online school where students can take a single online course or enroll in a full-time, diploma-granting program. Because they are part of Arizona State University, they offer an accelerated path and the chance to earn concurrent high school and elementary school credit.

In addition to allowing the students to earn credit early, Pendergast District has a team of personnel in place that is supporting the students as they take important high school coursework

“2020 was a year like no other,” said NSBA Executive Director and CEO Anna Maria Chávez. “The 2021 Magna Award-winning districts represent the enormous efforts of school leaders during the pandemic to continue removing barriers to achievement for their underserved and vulnerable students.”

Jete White, Pendergast Governing Board president shares, “Believing in students and giving them the tools and programs to succeed is the essence of the Magna Award. In Pendergast District finding the right match between needs and opportunities is our wheelhouse. In a district such as Pendergast, oftentimes it takes champions to believe in the students and help them aim high. The parents in the district are committed to their children’s success and want to see them graduate high school and go on to college and meaningful careers.”

Pendergast District’s ASU Prep Digital Program is highlighted in the April issue of the American School Board Journal. Read about Pendergast’s award winning program and the other winners at      

Pendergast is honored to be the only award-winning district in Arizona chosen for the award.