Harbor Teacher Prep will be Renamed After Current L.A Unified Board Member

LOS ANGELES (June 12, 2018) – Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy, which ranks in the top echelon of U.S. high schools for its graduation and college acceptance rates, will be renamed after Dr. Richard Vladovic, a Los Angeles Board of Education member, who was instrumental in the school’s founding 16 years ago.

The L.A. Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to rename the Wilmington-based school after Board Member Dr. Vladovic, known as a champion of change and innovation throughout his lifelong service to L.A. Unified. A ceremony honoring the board member is expected to be scheduled later this year, where the award-winning school will be rededicated as Dr. Richard A. Vladovic Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy.

"I cannot describe how proud I am of all that Harbor Teacher Prep Academy has been able to accomplish in a very short period of time,” Board Member Dr. Vladovic said. “Over 70 percent of its student body has been classified as economically disadvantaged, and come from a community that historically has been underserved; and yet this school and its student body consistently rank amongst the top high schools in the state and the nation. It has been recognized as a National Blue Ribbon school, it has a 100 percent graduation rate, and is living breathing proof that the public education system still works. It is a model that is in need of emulation across the District, the state, and the nation - and I could not be more proud of this school, its staff, and its students."

Others agreed that Board Member Dr. Vladovic, for his many contributions as an educator, was worthy of being honored.

“Dr. Vladovic has inspired, empowered and instilled strong values and skills in the minds and hearts of students for decades," said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. "Harbor Teacher Prep will long stand as a monument to his dedication to the students of our city and future of our communities."

“No name would be more fitting of such an outstanding school as that of the legendary educator whose vision and insight brought it to life – my friend and colleague, Dr. Richard Vladovic,” said L.A. Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner.

"Dr. Richard Vladovic's life's work has been driven by his passion for teaching and his belief in the power of education to change lives,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn. “That is why it is so fitting that the teaching academy he helped to found will be renamed in his honor and that generations of aspiring teachers will look to his example."

Board Member Dr. Richard Vladovic, an educator for over 50 years, has served the district in numerous roles, including secondary teacher, gifted program advisor, principal, local district superintendent and board member/president emeritus. He has advocated for students and education programs and opportunities through his partnerships with local businesses, community organizations and elected officials.

"I welcome the proposal to rename Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy after Dr. Richard A. Vladovic, a lifelong educator who was instrumental in establishing this award-winning school that provides access to high quality education and creates a pipeline of highly-qualified teachers for tomorrow's students,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. 

“Dr. Vladovic’s vision for student achievement is evident in Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy,” said Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson. “High school students are graduating with one or more associate of arts degrees as each student matriculates to four-year colleges or universities. The success of this school will be a springboard for others, and what a great legacy for Dr. Vladovic.”

In 2002, Board Member Dr. Vladovic led the effort to open the academy – the founding goals were to raise graduation rates among at-risk youth in Wilmington, and to address the teacher shortage by fostering students with high-potential toward teaching careers.

“Dr. Vladovic set out with the intention of building a neighborhood school in Wilmington to raise graduation rates, set high standards for student achievement and establish a future teacher pipeline,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino, whose district overlaps with the board member’s.

“What he has created has become a standard for other schools around the state and the nation to emulate: a school that boasts near-perfect graduation rates, near universal college acceptance, and students that leave high school with two degrees - a high school diploma and an associates degree,” Buscaino added. “I am proud to host this impressive learning facility in my district and look forward to many more years of achievement from the Dr. Richard A. Vladovic Teacher Prep Academy.”  

The academy has been twice-chosen as a national Blue Ribbon School. Its academic achievement stems, in large part, from Board Member Dr. Vladovic’s efforts to create programs where students can receive an associate’s degree while attending high school. As one of the first schools to adopt this practice, known as dual-enrollment, the academy has served as an example for other district schools.  

Earlier this month, Board Member Dr. Vladovic served as the keynote speaker at the school’s 12th annual graduation ceremony. The academy remains the only high school in L.A. Unified that has recorded a 100 percent graduation rate for five years in a row. 

Every student in the Class of 2018 has been accepted to a four-year college or university. In addition, two-thirds of graduates already have earned at least one associate of arts degree, thanks to the school’s partnership with Los Angeles Harbor College, which shares its campus.


Contact: Shannon Haber (213) 241-6766


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