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Sarasota County Schools Receives Mid-Size District of the Year Award from the University of Cambridge

SARASOTA, Florida – April 16, 2019 – Sarasota County Schools has received the District of the Year Award for 2017-18, in the mid-sized district category from Cambridge International, the world’s largest provider of international education programs. The Cambridge program was developed by Cambridge International, which is part of the University of Cambridge in the UK.

The award recognizes districts that have a consistently high learner performance rate on Cambridge’s internationally benchmarked examinations, a higher than average in percent of students who receive awards for top performance, and that have provided program access to students of diverse backgrounds and experiences.

The Cambridge program was first implemented at Sarasota High School by then teacher Merlin Schenk in 2011. The program has grown over the years in a systematic way to give students access to an international curriculum known for rigor and relevancy. Currently students at Booker High School, North Port High School, and Sarasota High School are enrolled in the Cambridge program. Participating students and instructional staff alike benefit from a plethora of resources designed to enhance global access and lifelong learning.

“We are thrilled to be the recipients of such a distinguished award from Cambridge International,” commented Todd Bowden, superintendent of Sarasota County Schools. “We strive to provide our students and staff with the best resources available to attain their goals and stretch their skills. The collective success of our students involved with the Cambridge program, as well as the achievements of our teachers and staff affiliated with the program, speak volumes. We are thankful to have this enhanced curriculum as an option in our district, and look forward to see our AICE students continue to grow and thrive in this program.”

Mark Cavone, Regional Director, North America, Cambridge International, said: “We congratulate the students, teachers, and administrators in Sarasota County on their exceptional level of achievement. At Cambridge, we pride ourselves on working with schools and educators to build programs that emphasize critical thinking skills, independent learning, research, and communications so students are ready for future challenges.”

The Cambridge Advanced program allows students to earn college-level credit in high school and is the final stage of the Cambridge Pathway. The pathway provides an instructional system across four stages (Primary, Lower Secondary, Upper Secondary and Advanced) aligning rigorous coursework, enhanced teaching and assessment for all students. Each year, nearly 1 million students study Cambridge programs worldwide, resulting in more than 2 million exam entries. In 2018, students in the United States completed more than 110,000 Cambridge IGCSE and Cambridge International AS & A Level exams, a record number and an increase of 14 percent over the previous school year.

More than 600 US colleges and universities, including all members of the Ivy League, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Duke University, New York University, University of Washington, and University of Virginia accept Cambridge exams for credit and placement. 


About Cambridge International              

Cambridge International prepares school students for life, helping them develop an informed curiosity and a lasting passion for learning.

We are part of Cambridge Assessment, a department of the University of Cambridge in the UK. Our international qualifications are recognized by the world’s best universities and employers, giving students a wide range of options in their education and career. As a not-for-profit organization, we devote our resources to delivering high-quality educational programs that can unlock learners’ potential.


About Sarasota County Schools

Sarasota County Schools is committed to providing unrivaled academic, emotional and civic growth to every student, every day. As one of the leading employers on the Suncoast, Sarasota County Schools boasts 53 schools that expertly cater to the diverse needs of over 43,000 students. We are one of two Florida school districts to consistently earn an A-grade every year since 2004. Our passionate educators empower students to take charge of their academic and personal success, a practice we believe fosters lifelong growth and achievement. We actively maintain the district’s tradition of excellence and ensure that tradition extends to all students. Our commitment to our students extends beyond graduation to make sure they not only graduate on time, but do so college and career ready. Want to take your student’s education to the next level? Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or visit


Press Contacts

Whiteboard Advisors for Cambridge International | 601.334.6655

Thomas Rodgers |

Sarasota County Schools | 941.929.5794

Kelsey Whealy |