ESA Pathway Named Distinguished NAF Academy

The Environmental Science Academy, commonly referred to as the ESA Pathway, at Monache High School has been awarded NAF’s Katherine Blasik Distinguished level recognition – NAF’s highest level of certification achievement that reflects a high-quality academic program on a national level.

The ESA Pathway focuses on the sciences and environmental influences around us. Students regularly conduct indoor and outdoor labs with applications to real world settings. They undergo project-based learning in the fields of environmental science, natural resource management, energy science, and culminate their experience with a senior project where they can make a real impact on their community in the area of their choosing.

“Achieving the Distinguished Academy status means that our students, teachers, and business partners are working at the highest level to bring Environmental Science education into the classroom and out into the community,” says John Sherrill, Lead teacher for the ESA Pathway.

“ESA is a great example of how education can transform the lives of students when teachers and industry partners work together,” says Cynthia Brown, Director of Student Pathways.

This is the tenth PUSD Pathway to earn the Katherine Blasik Distinguished recognition by NAF since the start of the PUSD Pathways program in 2008.

“Teachers and our community partners continue to make a difference in the lives of our students. Regardless of the Pathway or industry, every student can benefit from being in a Pathway,” says Cynthia Brown.

“Our students are by far what I am most proud of. I truly believe that the culture of ESA is that of a family,” Sherrill said. “From freshmen to seniors, I've seen students working to bring positive change to our school sites, our cities, and even to global leadership.”

Each PUSD Pathway must continue to meet Distinguished standards set forth by NAF on an annual basis.

To learn more about the 14 PUSD Open-Choice Pathways, please visit

NAF, formerly known as the National Academy Foundation, is a national education non-profit that brings schools and businesses together to better prepare students of all backgrounds.