Meg Palisoc had a great career as a college administrator at USC. But after noticing that inner city freshman were not as prepared for higher education as their peers, she decided to dedicate herself to helping disadvantaged young people achieve.
She and her husband became teachers, but they did not stop at the classroom. They began to research what was working in education and hit upon the benefits of charter schools.
“When we first learned about charter schools, we really liked that their purpose was to be incubators of different ways to work with students and get results before sharing best practices with the existing school system,” said Palisoc. “We took that and hit the ground running with it.”
With a vision of charter schools working and sharing with traditional public schools, in 2004, Palisoc and her husband co-founded Synergy Academies, a non-profit group of charter schools in Los Angeles.
Synergy Charter Academy became the first elementary school in South Los Angeles to receive the National Blue Ribbon Award, the highest honor bestowed on American public schools.
She’s hoping the model catches on.