About the school

Taft 7-12, Lincoln City, Oregon

  • 788 students in grades 7-12
  • 65% eligible for free and reduced lunch
  • 37% students of color

Grad walk

High school seniors participate in a Graduation Walk through their elementary school to inspire younger students to complete and continue their education.

GEAR UP highlights

  • In my opinion, the most effective are the parent nights, FAFSA nights, college fairs, and trade fairs.
  • Allowing students to see the funding options for college and having support as they go step-by-step has helped to create our college-going culture. 
  • College Application Week is the most impactful. You see the kids all around the school talking about college plans, staff and students wearing their GEAR UP shirts, signs about where teachers attended, and it's the most buzz we get around college and students come to expect that.   
  • GEAR UP scholarships. There have been many students who need money to go to college and although we did not give them full tuition waivers the money has helped many students

GEAR UP swag

Students show off their GEAR UP swag.

The impact of GEAR UP

  • As silly as it sounds, I really think the [GEAR UP] swag has an impact. Students see it, ask about it, and it starts that dialogue naturally. 
  • I can attest to the positive impact the GEAR UP program has had, providing opportunities to gain exposure to colleges, universities, and programs that they otherwise would not have received.   
  • Prior to GEAR UP, college seemed like a dream to our rural students so morale regarding college was low, with students forced to choose between their hometown and an education. Now the culture has allowed them to see their options locally, remote, and what needs we have here so that they can attend college and either branch out or return home.   

  • I can think of one particular student that chose a trade school to attend due to one of the GEAR UP events that he attended. This would not have been possible without GEAR UP.  

Taft educators graph

What has helped your school be successful in implementing GEAR UP?

  • We have some awesome people that have really developed the position and pushed out information to staff.  
  • The addition of the college and career coordinator has helped get the program off the ground. We have used this position over the years to help connect with students, plan events, coordinate with colleges, and plan with teachers.   


Decision Day

Students celebrate their postsecondary plans during Decision Day.

Because of GEAR UP...

  • we have more students attending post-secondary education
  • students at Taft 7-12 believe in themselves as college ready
  • Taft High School is much more intentional in providing students with opportunities to explore college and career pathways.

Information provided by GEAR UP coordinator/assistant principal Maddy Anderson, principal Nick Lupo, assistant principal Matt Hilgers, Social Studies teacher Nichole Le Sage, and math/AVID teacher Jake Tolan.