Kennedy-Powell named Project Lead The Way Distinguished School

TEMPLE, Texas — Temple Independent School District’s Kennedy-Powell Elementary has been recognized as a 2020-21 Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Distinguished School. Kennedy-Powell is one of just 310 schools across the U.S. to receive this honor for providing broad access to transformative learning opportunities for students through PLTW Launch. PLTW is a nonprofit organization that serves millions of PreK-12 students and teachers in schools across the U.S. The school is just one of 19 schools in Texas to be honored and Kennedy-Powell will also be recognized for the honor at the Temple ISD board of trustees meeting on Monday, September 13. The school has now been named a PLTW Distinguished School for four consecutive years.

This recognition is a true reflection of all the dedication, hard work, and passion each staff member and student at Kennedy-Powell Elementary has towards Project Lead the Way,” said Kayla DeBacker, Project Lead The Way lead launch teacher and campus technology liaison at Kennedy-Powell. “I’m honored to be a part of an amazing program that empowers students and receiving this distinction is proof that Kennedy-Powell shines bright not only in our Temple community but also nationally.”

The PLTW Distinguished School recognition honors schools committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs. To be eligible for the designation, Kennedy-Powell Elementary had to have more than 75 percent of the student body participating in the program and had to offer at least two PLTW Launch modules at each grade level during the 2019-20 school year. 

Studies show that students decide as early as elementary school whether they like, and think they are good at, math and science. Whether designing a car safety belt or building digital animations based on their own short stories, PLTW Launch students engage in critical and creative thinking, build teamwork skills, and develop a passion for and confidence in STEM subjects.  

“It is a great honor to recognize Kennedy-Powell Elementary for their unwavering commitment to provide students with an excellent educational experience despite the unusual circumstances and unique challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic presented to the educational landscape this past year,” said Dr. Vince Bertram, President and CEO of PLTW. “They should be very proud of their achievements in unlocking their students’ potential and equipping them with the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in life beyond the classroom no matter what career path they choose.”

Kennedy-Powell Elementary is part of a community of PreK-12 schools, colleges and universities, and corporate and philanthropic partners across the country united around a passion for providing students with inspiring, engaging, and empowering learning opportunities. For more information about PLTW’s recognition program, visit