Emerson Academy Wins Baldrige Honor

What do the Boeing Company’s Space and Intelligence Division, Cedars-Sinai Hospital and Emerson Parkside Academy Charter School all have in common? They’re all winners of this year’s California Awards for Performance Excellence. Only 22 of the awards were announced this year by the California Council for Excellence, honoring leading businesses and organizations for using effective continuous improvement strategies. Emerson won the prestigious award for the third year in a row. This time, Emerson was the only individual school to win statewide. One school district, the Orinda Union School District, also won. The awards, modeled after the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Program, recognize continuous improvement and superior performance in seven key business areas including leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, measurement/knowledge management, human resources, process management and business results. "The criteria are rigorous, and organizations that apply are putting themselves through the most respected and demanding filter in the country. To win this award on any level is worthy of tremendous respect," said Denise Shields, Chair of the CAPE Award. The CAPE Award recipients will be honored at the 13th Annual Conference & Awards Ceremony on Friday, April 6 in downtown San Diego. The recipients will be recognized at the Gold, Silver, Bronze and California Prospector levels. Emerson earned the Silver honor this year after earning Silver and Prospector honors in prior years. The Baldrige effort is named for Malcolm Baldrige, U.S. Secretary of Commerce from 1981 to 1987. He developed quality improvement strategies and criteria used by the nation’s leading corporations. Six years ago, Emerson was a traditional elementary school in the Long Beach Unified School District. It converted to a charter campus under Principal Cindy Young’s guidance and has seen steady improvements in student achievement. Charter schools are publicly funded, independent schools that are free from some of the state’s education regulations. This year, Young became the school district’s program administrator for Baldrige Excellence. Emerson’s current principal, Mark Andreatta, arrived this school year. He praised Young’s leadership, which contributed to the CAPE Award. He appreciates the learning environment he inherited at Emerson. "The award reflects the work that was done prior to my arrival here," Andreatta said. "I am proud to work with a staff and community that comes together every day to embrace excellence and help students achieve superior results."