St. Thomas More High School, Milwaukee, has again received the Project Lead the Way Distinguished High School award in 2023 for excellence in student participation in STEM curriculum. (Photo courtesy of St. Thomas More High School.)

St. Thomas More is one of 262 high schools across the nation to receive the award in 2023. The PLTW Distinguished School recognition honors schools committed to increasing student access, engagement and achievement in their PLTW programs.

“Students in PLTW are challenged to solve complex problems and develop critical life skills, and the Distinguished School award is evidence of their high level of achievement and dedication,” said Darlene Langoff, biomedical science chair and PLTW Master Teacher. “Many of our past PLTW students have gone on to very rewarding careers in STEM, and these students frequently credit their PLTW classes for starting them on the road to success.”

St. Thomas More is the only high school in the city of Milwaukee to receive the award this year.

Serving millions of K-12 students and teachers in over 12,200 schools, PLTW is a nonprofit organization whose project-based curriculum of biomedical science, engineering, and computer science helps students develop science, technology, engineering and math knowledge as well as transferable skills, such as problem-solving, critical thinking and time management.

“I think that PLTW is a great program that prepares students for higher learning and inspires students to pursue unique and fulfilling careers within the STEM field,” said St. Thomas More biomedical sciences student Matthew Kleist, who just graduated and will attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison to study nursing.

“We have done many labs and projects which have taught us skills that can be applied in college and future careers,” said Addison Anderson, another spring graduate who took PLTW courses. Anderson will attend Butler University next year to study health sciences/pre-dentistry.

To be eligible for the PLTW Distinguished School award designation, St. Thomas More had to have 25 percent of students or more participate in PLTW courses, or of those who participated in PLTW, at least 33 percent enrolled in two or more PLTW courses; offer and have students enrolled in at least three PLTW courses; and have strategies in place that support reasonably proportional representation with regard to race, ethnicity, poverty and/or gender.