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Southridge High School

It's a Tuesday afternoon. Southridge High School Physics Teacher Bradford Hill is holding an empty McDonald's cup up to his ear. A wire protrudes from the bottom of the cup. On a nearby table, sits an amplifier. He's teaching students about building a microphone. A student comes to the front of the class and jiggles a slinky hanging from the ceiling, demonstrating how sound waves travel. 

Recently, six teachers from an elite private school in Southern California traveled to Beaverton to learn more about Southridge's Pattern Physics Approach. They are now implementing the model in their school. "The level of teaching and engagement with kids is really great to watch," says Principal Todd Corsetti.

Corsetti, who's been principal at Southridge for five years, says the teaching staff is just one of the elements that make his school great. He's also proud of the culture among the students. With an emphasis on service learning, all 1,700 students are required to complete 60 hours in order to graduate. "Students look for opportunities to help others," says Corsetti. Southridge offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, a rigorous college-prep program that prepares students for college-level work.

The school recently hosted a "Days of Understanding" event. More than 300 students participated in the two-day workshop, which focused on improving the school climate by bringing students together through open communication.

At athletic events, you can often find students gathered around the recently completed Community Plaza, dedicated to the memory of fallen service members. "It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get created," says Corsetti, "but it's a great example of how the community can rally and support something that will have a lasting impact."