The Silicon Valley Voice

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Employer-School Council: Giving Troubled Students Second Chance for Success

Supported by retired SCUSD teachers and administrators and the West Valley Kiwanis Club, the Employer-School Council (ESC) sponsors scholarships for graduates of SCUSD’s alternative high schools – Wilson and New Valley. A few months ago the ESC held its 28th annual lunch at the Santa Clara Elks Club, honoring graduates and scholarship winners.

The ESC was founded in 1974 when a SCUSD work-experience teacher wanted to build connections between her students and local businesses, according to ESC president and founding member Bev Koehler of Santa Clara. Since 1990, the group has had a special focus on Santa Clara’s alternative high schools and awards about$25,000 in scholarships in amounts of $1,000, $750, and $500.

“Very few organizations across the country do what our employer-school council does for Wilson and New Valley,” says New Valley Principal Rob Griffin. Judging from the caliber of the students being feted at this year’s lunch, the formula seems to be a winning one. “It’s been working for a lot of years,” says president Koehler.


Carolyn Schuk can be reached at


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