School News: Pasadena Senior Wins Gates Millennium Scholarship

Submitted by Pasadena Unified School District

community news

Photo: 2016 Gates Millennium Scholar Prakash Dass with Muir Principal Timothy Sippel, Counselor Nancy Gonzalez Heusser, Science Teacher Dan Harris, and Counselor Ben Aroyan

John Muir High School senior Prakash Dass has been named a 2016 Gates Millennium Scholar, becoming the school’s seventh winner of the prestigious academic scholarship since 2005. The news was announced recently by Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) officials. Marshall Fundamental and Pasadena High School were also named recipients of the 2016 Silver Medal from US News & World Report as part of the magazine’s Best High Schools ranking.

“Congratulations to Prakash and John Muir High School for this extraordinary achievement,” said Superintendent Brian McDonald. “Behind every student’s success are hundreds of hours of work by a team of excellent teachers and staff. I would also like to congratulate the students, faculty, staff and families of Marshall and PHS on their silver medal ranking.”

A student in John Muir’s Engineering and Environmental Science Academy, Prakash plans to major in engineering and has been accepted to UCLA, California State University Pomona and CSU San Luis Obispo. He is a member of John Muir’s Solar Cup Team and participated in the Johns Hopkins Engineering Innovation summer program at Pasadena City College.

As a Gates Scholar, Prakash joins the ranks of a prestigious group of talented students from across the country awarded the scholarship that can be used to pursue a degree in any undergraduate major and selected graduate programs at accredited colleges or universities. Established in 1999 with the goal of developing leaders and removing financial barriers to education for high-performing, low-income students, the Gates Millennium Scholarship is funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Marshall Fundamental Secondary School and Pasadena High School have received Silver Medals and are nationally ranked as 2016 Best High Schools by U.S. News and World Report.

The U.S. News rankings include data on more than 21,000 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Schools were awarded gold, silver or bronze medals based on their performance on state assessments, their graduation rates and how well they prepare students for college. See the full list.

U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 Best High Schools rankings highlight top-performing public schools on a state and national level. The 2015 rankings, available exclusively at, include data on more than 21,000 public high schools.

U.S. News differentiates high schools with gold, silver and bronze medals, using gold medals to indicate the greatest level of college readiness. For more information about Best High Schools, visit

“It is clear that PUSD educators are ensuring that our graduates are prepared to lead locally and globally,” said Board of Education President Elizabeth Pomeroy. “Our schools continue to succeed in serving as innovative leaders in offering 21st century educational opportunities.”

To stay connected to the Pasadena Unified School District,  visit their website at

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