About Us

Project GRAD Kenai Peninsula (PGKP) is a non-profit school improvement program partnering with the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and seven local communities.  It draws on the national GRAD model of innovative and research-based educational reform, tailored to this unique and culturally-diverse rural site.


Project GRAD Kenai Peninsula, founded in 2003, is the first site in the United States to adapt the national GRAD model of education reform to a rural site.

GRAD was founded in Houston by James Ketelsen, then Chairman and CEO of Tenneco. In 1988, Tenneco began funding a four-year college scholarship program, the Tenneco Presidential Scholarship Program, for eligible graduates of Davis High School, at the time Houston’s lowest-performing high school.
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Our mission at Project GRAD Kenai Peninsula is to impact generational change by enhancing the educational experience of underserved Alaskan students. With respect for culture, we support students as they become empowered, lifelong learners who graduate from high school prepared to smoothly transition and realize their postsecondary goals.


Currently, only 70 percent of all students in public high schools graduate. This number drops to just 53 percent of students from low-income families. By the end of 4th grade, low-income students, by various measures, are already two years behind other students. In 8th grade, they are three grade levels behind in reading and math.
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Seven remote and unique cultures on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula currently receive year-round academic and family support from PGKP: Nanwalek, Nikolaevsk, Ninilchik, Port Graham, Razdolna, Tebughna in Tyonek and Voznesenka.
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PGKP’s dedicated staff includes an Executive Director/Program Manager, four campus-based instructional coaches, Campus Family Support staff, and two contracted professionals for administrative support.
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PGKP is governed by a volunteer board representing the communities served by PGKP and its affiliates.
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