Oak Knoll School celebrates 70th anniversary with bubbles, balloons and major award announcement

by Linda Hubbard June 9, 2022

Ollie was on hand to greet pupils this morning when Oak Knoll School celebrated its 70th anniversary with lawn festivities that included bubbles, confetti, balloons, dancing and singing and a bouncy cake.

To top off the festivities, Principal Alicia Payton-Miyazaki announced – who arrived by drone – that Oak Knoll School had been selected by T4 Education as one of 10 finalists for the Best School in the World award in the Supporting Lives category. healthy. Only 50 schools worldwide, representing 29 countries, including just three schools in the United States, were included in the shortlists.

Alicia said in her staff announcement that Oak Knoll is “truly creating the next generation of leaders, thinkers and changemakers. Our students are wise, empathetic, independent and creative. I’m thrilled that Oak Knoll’s work is included in this amazing school cohort.

At the heart of Oak Knoll’s selection was the green team‘s focus on the environment and sustainability, including providing every student in grades 3-5 with a bike through Silicon Valley Bike Exchange.

As part of inclusion on the award shortlist, Oak Knoll team members will have the opportunity to collaborate with other shortlisted schools. Alicia has already participated in a call with schools in Africa, Europe and South America, and she looks forward to sharing Oak Knoll’s work as well as learning from other schools in the cohort.

The 3 finalists for each of the five Best School in the World awards – for Community Collaboration, Environmental Action, Innovation, Overcoming Adversity and Supporting Healthy Lives – will be announced later this year. After a public advisory vote, the winner of each award will be chosen based on rigorous criteria by a judging academy composed of distinguished leaders.

Winners will be announced in October 2022 during Global Education Week. A prize of $250,000 will be shared equally among the winners of the five prizes, with each receiving a prize of $50,000.

While the award for the best school in the world is a new award, Oak Knoll is celebrating 70 years of educating the children of Menlo Park with a focus on student advocacy and helping students discover and celebrate their individuality. Throughout their journey at Oak Knoll, students learn to solve complex problems, work with others to achieve great things, learn about themselves, and care about themselves and others.

Founded in 1951 as a K-8 school, Oak Knoll became a K-5 school in the 1989/1990 school year. Oak Knoll has a proud history in the life of Menlo Park, Atherton and East Palo Alto, the towns where the schools’ students come from.

“It’s hard to imagine that we opened last fall with required social distancing of three feet and a mask, and couldn’t even serve coffee at our Thursday community coffees,” said Alicia. “Now we have celebrated two musicals and are preparing for Clap Out with all of our fifth graders together, cheering each other on. Truly, we will never take community for granted again.

Photos by Linda Hubbard (c) 2022 except confetti and bottom image courtesy of Menlo Park City School District

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