100 percent college acceptance rate for North Idaho STEM Charter Academy


RATHDRUM, Idaho -The number seven is normally associated with being lucky, but seven seniors at the North Idaho STEM Charter Academy in Rathdrum, there’s no luck involved.

Hard work is what propelled them to have a 100% college acceptance rate, with some of the seniors going to some of the top schools in America.

At a small table, Paige Pence, Cortland Nutt, and Joe Benson get ready for their last finals as students of the North Idaho STEM Charter Academy.

The three will make history, no matter where life takes them, they are part of the first graduating class at the academy.

“Even though were going in opposite directions and stuff, I know that we'll always have that connection of being the first seven,” Pence said.

A map inside the school’s cafeteria shows where the seven seniors plan to go to college, which includes: Cal Berkley, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Gonzaga and several others.

What it doesn’t show is the number of schools each senior got into and the thousands of dollars in scholarships the class amassed.

Some have already been in college classes during their tenure, like Pence.

“I'm graduating from NIC with my associates from NIC, it will only take me two years to get my bachelors in elementary education,” Pence, who plans to go to Whitworth University, said.

Her classmate, Joe Benson, plans to go to Gonzaga and study mechanical engineering.

”I think it would be awesome to own my own tech company,” Benson said.

And Cortland, he’ll go to North Idaho College and study history.

But an amazing feat for some of the class comes in the form of a rocket.

They are apart of Project DaVinci.

The group was the only high school team in America to be picked up by NASA to send a rocket into space.

“’You figure out pretty quickly just how focused the school is on just imparting wisdom and a lot of good principles such as work ethic and management skills,” Nutt said.

The North Idaho STEM Charter Academy opened its doors in 2012 for grades K-8.

In 2014, the school added grades 9th-12th.

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