Nikki Garret Metzger
High Desert Daily
(Phelan) — Excelsior Charter School celebrated the grand opening of their Phelan Resource Center Wednesday night with a ribbon cutting ceremony and entertainment by American Idol finalist Stevie Wright.
Representatives from Congressman Buck McKeon’s office and Senator Sharon Runner’s office, First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt, members from the Phelan Chamber of Commerce, Miss Phelan and her court, Community Services District Board of Directors, and many others were on hand to cut the ribbon.
McKeon’s office, and Senator Sharon Runner’s office presented a certificate to the board of directors.
Mitzelfelt also made a presentation to the board with a certificate from the County. “I’m just so thrilled that we’re going to have another educational choice in a community that already has some pretty good educational choices. This is good for the whole community. Schools like this are a great opportunity to prepare students to be college bound, to excel in life and in most cases college.”
Excelsior Charter School has over 1400 students across all three campuses in the High Desert. The main campus is on the grounds of Victor Valley College, with a Resource Center in the Barstow area. The Phelan location is the newest Resource Center.
Peter Wright, Assistant Superintendent of Excelsior explained, “As Bear Valley Road got more and more congested it was harder and harder for students and their parents to make the trip to the main campus. So, we saw the need for a resource center here in Phelan. And we had a lot of parents and students asking for it. I just think kids need more options, it’s not a one-size-fits-all society anymore.”
Mike Hayhurst, Superintendent of Excelsior said, “We are an independent charter school funded by the state. Our biggest benefit to students and their family is our flexibility. For example, if a student is pursuing a career as a professional tennis player they can work with their Olympic level coach during the day and do their school work in the evening, or whenever their schedule allows. We do have kids that are doing those things, all kinds of sports and professional activities, including professional rodeo.”
“We rely on a partnership between the teacher/facilitator, the parent and the student. They are required to meet at a minimum once a month. The main focus of that monthly meeting is to make sure the student stays on track with their personal life line. Because we’re here to prepare students to be successful. We teach them success skills to be successful in life,” explained Hayhurst.
For more information on Excelsior and an application for admission, visit their website www.excelsior.com