In 2007, Rocketship Education held its first school year in a San Jose church – and it wasn’t even a religious school. Preston Smith, his faculty, and students didn’t have anywhere else to go. It doesn’t take much thinking to evaluate the great strides Rocketship Education and its many educators have taken over the past decade. Today, there are more than 3,700 students throughout RSED’s eighteen locations.
Preston Smith, currently the President and CEO – two roles he’s held simultaneously since the beginning of academic year 2013 – deeply understands everything about RSED, from its broad basics to inner workings and potential sophistications.
In August of 2017, just earlier this academic year, Mr. Preston Smith celebrated the ten-year anniversary of his Rocketship Education by sharing some of the most crucial-to-success lessons he learned over the past ten years, all of which were spent with Rocketship Education. Following below are some of the most important things he’s said about his stay with the educational institution.
RSED also has a parental leadership program, in which they carry on the excellence rubbed off on students during their residency at Rocketship Education. To fully lead their children and local communities, they must push for new schools that rival the quality of RSED, for example. Mr. Smith has experienced concerned moms banding together and creating enough noise around their cause to actually result in new schools being created.
Most schools have at least one student with a disability or other special needs. It’s considered a traditional practice to keep disabled students in one classroom segregated from other students. However, this means of organization of students provides lasting benefits to children with special needs, and also prepares the rest of students for interacting with those who aren’t similar to them.
Preston Smith, after returning home to California, joined the Arbuckle Elementary School team, earning a designation as the first-grade team leader for the latter two years of his three-year stay. He went on to found L.U.C.H.A. Elementary School in 2004, and was elected its principal for the three years he stayed with the organization. In 2007, he helped organize Rocketship Education – the rest is history.