XQ Super School Winners Announced!

22 September 2016


On September 14th, XQ: The Super School Project revealed the 10 Super Schools that will receive $10 million over the next five years for their #RethinkHighSchool proposals. We loved watching the events unfold and can’t wait to see what comes next!

By Demi Edwards and Paul Haluszczak

While following XQ: The Super School Project this past year—including their big reveal of the winners—the amount of community engagement we witnessed has been inspiring. To break into a space that is clogged with discussions on reformation, rather than transformation, and gain the attention of world figures like President Barack Obama and Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, XQ America has added tremendous fuel to the learner-
centered fire. It is an understatement to say we are excited to see what the Super Schools accomplish in the next year and the work XQ will continue doing moving forward.

With over 10,000 applications received, XQ sparked a nationwide conversation: How do we reimagine the possibilities of education? Leaders everywhere were invited to put aside what they thought they knew about education and weave a brand new tapestry that expresses learners’ needs in the 21st century.

On the day of the big reveal, the Education Reimagined team was proud to see education leaders we’ve written about, spoken to, and had the pleasure of meeting face-to-face be awarded such a coveted prize. Our beloved Bertie Simmons took the stage to accept the prize for Furr High School. We smiled ear-to-ear when seeing Big Picture’s Elliot Washor standing proudly with the New Harmony team. When Iowa BIG was announced as a surprise recipient of a five-year $1 million grant, there was cheering in our office—sorry co-workers! And, for those we don’t yet know—we can’t wait to meet you, hear about your aspirations, and see what you make possible.


To know that this is a commitment that we are going to have the privilege of making is like nothing else I’ve every felt in the entire world.

Erin Whalen
Team Leader/Founding Assistant Principal, RISE High
  • Furr High School (video). Where learners will become environmental-change agents.
  • Design-Lab High (video). Where learning is made visible and design thinking leads the way.
  • New Harmony High (video). Where learning will happen in the middle of the Mississippi River…on a barge, of course!
  • Powderhouse Studios (video). Where the time and space of learning are being transformed.
  • Brooklyn Lab High School (video). Where the charging stations for learning are endless.
  • Summit Elevate (video). Where learners’ interests guide the way.
  • Grand Rapids Public Museum High School (video). Where the barriers
    between education and community disappear.
  • Washington Leadership Academy (video). Where virtual reality is no longer beyond our grasp.
  • RISE High (video). Where learning is mobile, connected, and supportive for kids who are homeless or in foster-care.
  • Vista Challenge High School (video). Where personalized learning is scaling up.


Only ten schools made the final cut. But, when we think about all the ideas surfaced, partnerships born, and commitments revitalized, we see the real hidden power that XQ unleashed.

As one leader stated, “If I don’t get this grant, we’re going to make these changes anyway.” That one statement expresses everything that this call for proposals has made possible. Encourage education leaders in every community to aspire for something greater than the current system. Motivate them to elevate their environments above the current paradigm and enter a new frame of thought to discover what learners really need to succeed. Empower them to know there is a larger community of leaders, thinkers, inventors, and challengers just like them—hungry for transformational change in education.

Once again, with over 10,000 applications submitted for the XQ grant alone, we know there are thousands of leaders forging ahead with their reimagined learning environment regardless of the prize money. We also know these leaders deserve a stage for their ideas to be shared. Are you one of these leaders? We want to know about you. Reach out to us on Twitter @EdRemagined or email us here, so we can get to know each other and spread your ideas across the nation!

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