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Larry Rosenstock, Founder of HTH, US, Bags 2019 WISE Prize For Education

Written by Abigael Ibikunle


The distinguished WISE Prize for Education for this year has been presented to Mr. Larry Rosenstock. Mr. Larry Rosenstock is the CEO and Founding Principal of High Tech High (HTH), a network of American public charter schools in San Diego, California.

The award was presented on November 20, 2019 to Rosenstock by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation at the opening Plenary of the 2019 WISE Global Summit in Doha, Qatar, before delegates of over 3,000 from more than 100 countries.

The WISE Prize for Education is the first distinction of its kind to acknowledge an individual for an outstanding contribution to education. It was established in 2011 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. Mr. Rosenstock was however recognized by WISE for his contribution to quality education through his innovative learning model, that allows students from all socioeconomic backgrounds to succeed.

With the Prize, Mr. Rosenstock is recognized for his lifelong dedication to rethinking K-12 learning and tackling inequality through education. He has pioneered the concept of project-based education. The idea that students can and must learn crucial academic skills through hands-on projects that integrate multiple disciplines, engage their interest, and have an authentic purpose. His model also reimagines the role of teachers as “designers” who adapt their curricula and blend a variety of subjects based on the specific needs of each student.

Throughout his career, Mr. Rosenstock has sought to improve the status of VET and vocational students through several channels – legal, educational, and entrepreneurial. He worked as an educator for 11 years. But also used his legal expertise to co-write legislation that enhanced funding for VET and required greater integration with academics. In starting High Tech High, he has emerged as an innovator who has created a visible model that shows what is possible in schools.

The innovative methods pioneered at HTH have helped prepare thousands of students of all ability levels and socioeconomic backgrounds for higher education, citizenship, and a rewarding life of work. This approach has allowed students to reach their full potential, with 98% of High Tech High students accepted to university (versus 69% nationwide).

Larry Rosenstock and the HTH model are shaping the present and future of education. This is serving as a proof point for the concepts of project-based learning, teaching 21st century skills, and demonstrating that systemic change through the classroom is possible.

Stavros N. Yiannouka, the CEO of WISE said: “Larry’s work encapsulates the essence of the WISE Prize for Education: a decades-long commitment to education as a force for positive individual and social transformation, manifested through impactful work and tangible achievements as a visionary educator, policymaker, thinker, and social entrepreneur”

Receiving the award, Larry Rosenstock said: “I am tremendously honored to receive this prize from such a distinguished jury. To join the past laureates who have made such an impact on education globally is a profound honor. I hope the prize will allow us to share the work of High Tech High students and teachers even more widely. To me the prize confirms two of my strongest beliefs: that the work of hands and minds can and must be integrated in our schools. And that all young people are capable of doing work that matters, when we give them the opportunity.”

The previous WISE Prize laureates are; Dr. Patrick Awuah, Ghana (2017), Dr. Sakena Yacoobi, Afghanistan (2015), Ms Ann Cotton, The United Kingdom (2014), Ms Vicky Colbert, Colombia (2013), Dr. Madhav Chavan, India (2012), Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Bangladesh (2011)


About the author

Abigael Ibikunle

Associate Correspondent at Edugist, Abigael Ibikunle is a Mathematics Education graduate. A professional Journalist and a passionate writer. She can be reached via:

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