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Rochester Arts & Sciences Academy

SAWIB08 Winner

Company: Rochester Arts & Sciences Academy, Rochester, MN
Company Description: The Rochester Arts & Sciences Academy (RASA) a non profit public charity, is an international school which teaches daily Mandarin & Spanish. RASA’s unique curriculum allows for level & age specific experiences. E.g. a 1st grader could take 3rd gr. math, 2nd gr. English & yet be with their age peers for the other subjects. RASA students have the highest standardized test scores in our city.
Nomination Category: Individual Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best Executive – Service Businesses – up to 100 Employees

Nomination Title: Dr. Neena Natt, Executive Board Member, RASA

1. Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated executive during the eligibility period (up to 500 words):

Since Dr. Natt has assumed her executive role at the Rochester Arts & Sciences
Academy, the fundamental tenets of the school have not been upheld, but she has
taken excellence in these areas to the next level. These tenets include:
1) an international education with a minimum of 2 daily foreign languages and an
emphasis on global awareness to educate citizens of tomorrow.
2) academic excellence. Dr. Natt oversees the standardized testing and under her
leadership, RASA students have across the board achieved scores above the 95th
percentile, the highest scores in our entire district of 16,300 students. We
recently received the honor of becoming a designated testing center for the
Northwestern University Midwest Academic Talent Search, in which ALL of our
students in grades 4-8 qualified to participate.
3) Extracurriculars. Under Dr. Natt's leadership, the physical education, visual
and performing arts programs have grown to include much diversity, including
tennis, foreign drama, and chinese calligraphy.

It is our belief that many of our schools do not develop our children’s academic
potential to their fullest. Studies show that children educated in other
countries perform much better on standardized tests than our own children. Many
countries begin formal full-day schooling at age four. Most children can begin
reading before the age of four if appropriately taught, while our public schools
begin teaching reading in first grade, age 6-7. To this end, we will begin
taking children at age 3 into an educational preschool environment. We believe
that, at least until the highest grades, there is need for only minimal
homework. Six or more hours per day of school is adequate learning time if well
utilized, and children need unencumbered time outside of school to spend with
their families and friends.

Very few American children enter graduate school for doctoral degrees in
mathematics and the sciences. Foreign students fill these positions. The reasons
for this are unclear, but may relate to underexposure of our children to the
wonders of math and science at younger ages. University level scientific
education in this country is excellent, however this may be too late for many
students to develop the love of science that would prompt pursuit of graduate
level training.

Physical activity is underemphasized in our school systems. There is an epidemic
of childhood obesity in this country, which stems from lack of physical activity
and poor food choices / excessive caloric intake. We believe that physical
activity should represent a substantial part of each day. We further believe
that children need to be educated to eat a well balanced diet and acquire tastes
for more healthy and diverse foods.

2. List the URLs (web addresses) of any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that you would like the judges to see that support your entry. IMPORTANT: List each URL on a separate line, begin each URL with http://, and enclose each URL in square brackets. For example, [http://www.yourcompany.com/pressrelease.html]:


3. Provide a brief biography of the nominated executive (up to 100 words):

Neena Natt was born & raised in the United Kingdom. She obtained her Medical
Degree from the University of Cambridge, and went on to pursue a Master’s in
Education. In addition to her executive role at RASA, she is also Vice Chair of
education at the Mayo Clinic Division of Endocrinology where plays an integral
role overseeing medical students’ clinical skills training. She has won several
awards, including the Mayo Medical School Teacher of the Year and the Education
Innovation Awards. Her areas of expertise lie in curriculum development,
performance-based assessment, and now, as an executive of a special school.