The Path to Higher Ed is a SchooLinks hosted podcast community that explores trending topics and issues in the area of college and career readiness. Our featured guests are pushing education forward by constantly learning from, innovating and applying their college and career readiness practices. Listen to gain their insights and apply them to your own college and career readiness practices.
In this episode, we talk to Eric Rauschkolb, Principal of Niwot High School outside of Boulder, Colorado. Eric’s work at Niwot led to him recently being named the 2017 Colorado Secondary School Principal of the Year by the Colorado Association of School Executives. Although around 90% of Niwot graduates pursue a postsecondary education, Eric expresses concern that students in general do not always know themselves well enough at a young age to determine right fit colleges and careers. This is an important observation that drives Eric to meet students where they are at so that they are the determiners of their life trajectories.
About Eric Rauschkolb
Eric Rauschkolb began his career in education as a Spanish teacher at Marion Harding High School in Ohio. Subsequently, he taught Spanish and then became an assistant principal at Cuyahoga Falls High School. His first principalship was at Streetsboro High School in Ohio, and he currently serves as the principal at Niwot High School outside of Boulder, Colorado. Eric has served on the boards of several non-profits, including the OASSA (Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators). He was recently recognized as the CASE (Colorado Association of School Executives) Secondary Principal of the Year.
Eric has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Spanish from Wheaton College, a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Dayton, and completed his superintendent’s license coursework through Kent State University. He and his wife Kate live in Longmont, CO and have three children: Ethan, Ben, and Ellie.
About Niwot High School
Mission and philosophy:
Niwot High School is accountable for providing:
A safe and positive learning environment
A challenging academic program that promotes both inquiry and reflection
Activities that promote discovery and respect of diverse interests and abilities
Opportunities for critical thinking, collaboration, and open communication within the school community
A global perspective of our world and its cultures
An atmosphere of respect, trust and integrity
Opportunities for students to demonstrate responsibility
Rated as a top high school 2011–2014 according to U.S. News & World Report and Newsweek
Professional highly trained and dedicated staff
Relationships between teachers, family and community for student success
Internationally recognized IB Diploma Programme
Diverse academic, personal, social and career support for all students
Exceptional co-curricular opportunities
Niwot High School is located 35 miles northwest of Denver in Longmont, Colorado, just east of Boulder. It is one of six high schools within the St. Vrain Valley School District and offers an outstanding Advanced Placement program as well as providing the only International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in the district. The community surrounding Niwot High School consists of families of diverse backgrounds who work in a variety of occupations in high-technology, higher education, agricultural and service industries.
1,290 students in grades 9–12
State of Colorado and Colorado Department of Education Certificate of Accreditation
Every-other-day block schedule; 90-minute periods; traditional semester system
.5 credits per semester in full-credit courses
Traditional, A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0
Weighted classes include Advanced Placement and select IB classes, A=5, B=4, C=3, D=2, F=0
Partially weighted Niwot Pre-IB and Honors classes, A=4.5, B=3.5, C=2.5, D=1.5, F=0
83% attend 4 year colleges & universities; 9% attend 2 year colleges
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