Wood Foundation Provides Grant to Establish Del Easton Alternative School
in Williston, North Dakota
May 2011 Annual Yearly Progress report from North Dakota Department of Education
Williston High School graduation rate went up 12.6% thanks to the measurable results of the Del Easton Alternative High School program’s success.
Annapolis, Md., October 15, 2009 – Sallie Hamrick, trustee of the Kathy and Jerry Wood Foundation, provided a check today for $137,000.00 to Del Easton Alternative School. The alternative high school will offer an optional setting and programming for students to earn a high school diploma instead of being in a traditional high school program, thereby reducing the number of dropouts.
In announcing the grant, Ms. Hamrick commented, “Traditional high schools don’t work for some students. One of the missions of the Foundation is to found, equip, or provide for the maintenance of institutions for the advancement of learning in the United States. Del Easton Alternative School will allow students who are at risk of dropping out of school to obtain a High School Diploma and possibly go on to college.”
Del Easton, for whom the school was named, has 37 years of experience in public education. He was Williston High School’s principal for 22 years and Williston School’s superintendent for 4 years. At the grand opening of Del Easton Alternative School, Mr. Easton said, “This school is a dream come true. When I was the Williston High School principal I often had drop out kids say they would like to finish high school and get a diploma, but not if they had to come back to a different class nor the same old routine. That is when I wished I had an alternative high school for them. I look for this program to grow. It will outgrow this one-room-school. There will be more than one teacher. It will include not just academic courses but vocational, practical subjects. It will serve students from the surrounding area.”
Mr. Easton also said, “Many a student will get their diploma because they have a different way of getting their credits. They will have to be motivated because much of this will be self study, and attendance will be crucial. It won’t be easier than regular high school – just different.”