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May 17, 2023 | 05:02pm
Sen. Brooks honors state’s top school, Santa Fe South Pathways Middle College, and its graduating class
OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Michael Brooks, D-Oklahoma City, recognized the outstanding accomplishments of Oklahoma’s top ranked school, Santa Fe South Pathways Middle College, and its 2023 graduating class Wednesday. The public charter school was started in 2014 with a focus on getting students as many college credits as possible, up to and including an associate degree.
“I’m blown away by the dedication and vision of the Pathways staff to help offer this unique learning opportunity that puts their students so far ahead of other high school graduates in their college journey. Not only are these kids being challenged and allowed to explore different career avenues, but they have the ability to knock out two years of college for free, so they’re not strapped with significant debt down the road,” Brooks said. “I hope more school districts will replicate Pathways’ middle/early college model and expand their educational opportunities to not only better meet the needs and unique learning styles of students but get them further along in their higher education journeys, if that’s what they want to pursue.”
The school has grown from 71 students to almost 300 this year that have access to all classes offered by Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC). During its tenure, over 200 students have graduated with their associate degree before getting their high school diploma, including 36 of the 50 graduating this year. Nationally, an average of 23% of middle and early colleges graduates finish with an associate degree, but 76% of Pathways’ 2023 graduates obtained theirs. This year’s graduates have earned an average of 63 college credit hours and also completed nearly 8,600 hours of community service.
Chris McAdoo has served as the principal of Pathways Middle College for nearly a decade.
“I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished – we have turned the traditional educational model on its head and our students and staff have set the bar nationally for excellence and achievement,” McAdoo said. “I am blessed to be part of the most amazing team of teachers, the most amazing group of kids, and an amazing charter school district that is focused on improving the lives of the Oklahoma City community. We’re excited to keep growing and reaching even higher goals.”
Since its creation, Pathways’ students have received over $5 million in scholarships to schools, including Berklee School of Music, Stanford, Columbia, OSU, OU, Tulsa University, Indiana University, Kansas State University, Notre Dame, and many others.
Pathways was initially founded in 2001 under Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) and started with an 8th grade with additional grades added every year. The school was successful for 14 years but failed to demonstrate consistent growth and was closed by OKCPS. At the urging of parents, Chris Brewster, the school’s founder and superintendent, and the school board of Santa Fe Charter Schools quickly took action and adopted Pathways Middle College. The school utilizes a rigorous project-learning college-preparatory curriculum, that includes SUMMIT learning. Each student has a mentor teacher who helps them develop strong habits and provides academic guidance and support.
For more information, contact: Sen. Brooks: (405) 521-5557 or Michael.Brooks@oksenate.gov
CUTLINE: Sen. Michael Brooks, D-OKC, honors the nation’s top school and its 2023 graduating class Wednesday in the Senate.
CUTLINE 2:Sen. Michael Brooks, D-OKC, and principal Chris McAdoo with the Santa Fe South Pathways Middle College 2023 graduating class at the state Capitol.