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49ers STEM Leadership Institute Recognized with CA Education Honor

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Santa Clara Unified School District and San Francisco 49ers STEM Leadership Institute was selected as one of 57 recipients of California's highest educational honor, the Golden Bell Award and honored at a ceremony in San Diego. 

The Golden Bell Awards, celebrating its 40th year, are presented by the California School Boards Association to promote excellence in public education and school board governance by recognizing outstanding programs and governance practices. The awards reflect the depth and breadth of education programs and governance decisions supporting these programs that are necessary to address students' changing needs.

The San Francisco 49ers Foundation and Santa Clara Unified School District received their award on Dec. 5, 2019, at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina. The awards ceremony was part of CSBA's Annual Education Conference and Trade Show held from Dec. 5-7 in San Diego. The conference is the premier continuing education event for California school boards and the largest education leadership conference in the state.

"It is an honor to have the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute (SLI) in Santa Clara recognized by the California School Board Association," said Dr. John York. "My family has always had a passion for education and believes that if you provide young students with the right resources, they can succeed in the classroom and beyond. These future leaders are the next generation of innovators and thinkers and I could not be more proud of each and every one of them."

"We are grateful for partners like the 49ers, and the 49ers Foundation, who allow us to bring innovative educational opportunities to Santa Clara Unified School District's students," says Superintendent Kemp. "Our school district's mission is to prepare all students for success in this ever-changing world and the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute at Cabrillo Middle School and Santa Clara High School allows us to provide students interested in STEM careers with a rigorous program to better connect and prepare them for that future."

With the support of Chevron and the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute provides multi-year, year-round academic support, STEAM enrichment, skills training, and leadership opportunities to students in middle and high school. Students are in the program from 7th grade until 12th grade and commit annually to 300-plus hours of program learning time in addition to their typical school hours. By cultivating student mastery in STEM subjects and in key soft skill areas, the program prepares students for college and empowers them to pursue their passion, so that they may become the well-rounded leaders of the future. 

"The Golden Bell Award is a testament to the excellence of our program and the achievements of our 49ers STEM Leadership Institute students and teachers," said Lisa Andrew, CEO of Silicon Valley Education Foundation. "This is an example of what a strong partnership between a variety of stakeholders can accomplish."

A judging panel composed of experts from school districts and county offices of education across the state reviewed written entries and made initial recommendations. On-site validators then reviewed the recommendations and assessed the programs in action. This year's Golden Bell winners demonstrated that they are addressing student needs through areas such as equity and access, school climate and safety, technology and wellness.

"Now more than ever is a time to acknowledge and celebrate innovative and impactful programs that make a difference in the lives of our young people," said CSBA CEO & Executive Director Vernon M. Billy. "This year's Golden Bell winners truly serve as beacons of success as we work to more fully and equitably serve all of California's public school students."

To learn more about the Golden Bell awards and all the winners, visit the program's website at

About the 49ers Foundation

The 49ers Foundation harnesses football to educate and empower Bay Area youth through collective and innovative community-focused strategies. From award-winning STEAM education and nationally recognized youth football programs, to impactful community partnerships with leading non-profits, the 49ers Foundation is tirelessly dedicated to inspiring the confidence and collaboration youth need to tackle what is possible. Last year alone, the 49ers Foundation committed more than $6 million back into the Bay Area community and in its 28 years in existence has donated nearly $50 million. 

About Silicon Valley Education Foundation

SVEF is the largest educational nonprofit in Silicon Valley. We are guided by the belief that all students are capable of pursuing higher education and boosting their future economic mobility regardless of their background. SVEF has an established legacy of providing proven STEM programs and being profoundly committed to empowering students to graduate from high school career- and college-ready. For more information, visit

About California School Boards Association

CSBA is a nonprofit education association representing the elected officials who govern public school districts and county offices of education. With a membership of nearly 1,000 educational agencies statewide, CSBA brings together school governing boards and district and county office administrators to advocate for effective policies that advance the education and well-being of the state's more than 6 million school-age children. Learn more at