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AAPLE Academy
Accelerated Academic Program for Leadership & Enrichment




Program Description

The AAPLE Academy directs the collective energy of motivated and driven student leaders to the community to raise the community up and solve community problems. The Academy creates a culture that celebrates academic excellence, leadership, and civic service. To this end, AAPLE's mission is to offer an advanced four-year Academy pathway that integrates identified leadership competencies in a way that prepares students for success at our country’s top four year universities and in future vocations while providing students opportunities to exercise their leadership competencies in an area of community need. The Academy asks student leaders to direct their academic drive and motivation toward making deep and sustained impacts in their community.

Providing an opportunity for students to lead, serve, and excel in their community and school environments is at the heart of the AAPLE Academy’s mission. The AAPLE Academy emphasizes developing and reinforcing student’s leadership competencies, skills, and abilities through academic excellence, service of community, integrated leadership curriculum, enrichment, and team building opportunities. Identified leadership objectives, traits, and competencies guide students in defining, discovering, experiencing, evaluating, and developing the leaders that exist within the core of each AAPLE student.

Skills Acquired

Learning and developing the leadership competencies and actively practicing leadership proficiency by participating in service opportunities are the core of the AAPLE Academy’s education mission. All AAPLE scholars will participate in the student leadership structure as officers, team leaders, or team members. The goal of AAPLE student leadership opportunities is for all students to actively participate in, pursue, organize, and implement community, school, and Academy functions so that students further develop their eight leadership competency areas.  

Leadership Competency Focus Areas: The AAPLE Academy’s leadership competency focus areas are Self-Awareness and Development, Interpersonal Interaction, Teamwork and Group Dynamics, Civic Responsibility, Communication, Learning and Reasoning, Strategic Planning, Personal Behavior.



Each focus houses between five and nine sub-content areas that guide student learning within each content area. For example, if a project, assignment, or excursion is designed to focus on Civic Responsibility, sub-content areas could include exploring diversity and inclusion, evaluating community needs and solutions, exploring social justice, evaluating social responsibility, assessing compassion, empathy, or the impact of civic service.

One of the AAPLE students' most valued features of the Academy is the flexibility and freedom the Academy offers students who are interested in many vocational areas. The focus of the Academy is centered on the workplace fundamentals of leading, working with the purpose of benefiting the community, and excelling on the projects, teams, and/or committees.  AAPLE students focus on the intangibles of workplace performance, leadership, and purpose rather than technical skill sets of a single vocation.

After competency integration in courses, co-curricular activities, leadership speaker forums, community projects, student led committees, and excursions over eight semesters or four years, students leave the AAPLE Academy prepared to leave programs and organizations in college and in the workplace.











Student Leadership Group

Lead. Serve. Excel. Learning and developing the leadership competencies and actively practicing leadership proficiency by participating in service opportunities are at the core of the AAPLE Academy’s learning mission. All AAPLE scholars will participate in the Academy’s student leadership structure as officers, committee chairs, or leadership/service committee members.  The goal of AAPLE student leadership opportunities is for all students to actively participate in, pursue, organize, and implement community, school, and Academy functions so that students further develop their eight leadership competency areas.  

The AAPLE Academy’s Leadership Council is composed of two cohort representatives from each of the four grade-level cohort classes. The Council initiates and oversees all of the Academy’s leadership and service committees, designs programs that further the mission of the Academy, and represents the academy at community evenings and events. 

APPLE leadership and service committees are designed to bring all grade levels of students together to develop an action plan that includes mission and vision statements that guide their committees work. Students lead a variety of student run committees that range from the CyberTutorial program (an online tutorial platform that offers literacy and mathematics support to underperforming elementary school students during the school day) to the Pipeline program (designed to engage elementary school students to lead and engage in school and community programs).  

In addition, all AAPLE Academy students develop Leadership Portfolios in grads nine through twelve which includes their four year Sustained Leadership Service Project. These projects serve as the students capstone project which is presented in the students senior year. 





Work Based Learning Activities

The AAPLE Academy recently hosted a forum of local and global CEO’s, professors, Executive Directors of local non-profit organizations, school board members, and civic leaders to ascertain what attributes and skill sets our students should possess when they complete their secondary and post-secondary education. While technical skills were described as important, there was a stronger desire for entry level employees to be able to clearly articulate the mission of their organizations. They asked that our students leave the Academy with an understanding of group dynamics, be able to lead projects and teams, and that they are able to function individually with consistent follow through. 

The AAPLE Academy’s leadership competency curriculum continues to support the needs of employers by ensuring that our young people master eight leadership competency areas, develop and practice these skills through community service experiences, and excel at solving advanced and complex tasks in the classroom.  Students leave the AAPLE Academy able to provide unique solutions to complex challenges, with experience in leadership roles, and as active community contributors.  



By providing students a strategic academic pathway, leadership curriculum and programming, and impactful service opportunities students continue to attend prestigious four-year colleges and universities and it is our great hope that our alumni return to Santa Barbara to benefit our community as our physicians, city councilwoman, CEO’s, Executive Directors of our non-profit organizations, professors, and community volunteers.





AAPLE Academy Courses

Course Descriptions

Course Title and Description Type of Course UC a-g
English 9 Honors AAPLE Concentrator


English 10 Honors AAPLE Concentrator


Advanced Placement (AP) American Language and Composition AAPLE Concentrator


Advanced Placement (AP) American Literature AAPLE
12th grade AP American History/American Literature Leaders Adventure Project (1:05)



Advanced Placement (AP) Environmental Science AAPLE 9th grade AP Environmental Science about the Water Conservation Project (0:45)



Advanced Placement (AP) World History AAPLE
10th grade AP World History and English 10 H (0:40)



Advanced Placement (AP) American History AAPLE
11th grade AP American History Reagan Museum (0:59)
11th grade AP American History Samarkand Leadership Project (1:08)



Advanced Placement (AP) American Government AAPLE Concentrator a
AAPLE Leadership Seminar Capstone  


Nine courses in the areas of Advanced Placement or Honors History, English and Science are integrated with AAPLE’s eight leadership competency focus areas. Each course offers active interaction of traditional core course standards and AAPLE leadership competencies which results in a dynamic and pragmatic academic learning experience. All integrated leadership competency curriculum assignments, projects, and enrichment activities are included in the students' AAPLE Leadership Portfolio which is finalized for presentation in the AAPLE Leadership Seminar capstone course taken in the 12th grade.

AAPLE Students take one AAPLE Academy “Cohort Course” together each semester. AAPLE cohort courses provide an amazing platform for facilitating deep and layered integration of the Academy’s eight identified leadership competencies. These focus areas integrate many modalities of learning, including leadership and civic co-curriculars, projects, speakers, course enrichment, and excursions.

AAPLE’s integration model allows students to participate in other courses than those required by the Academy. With the Academy’s leadership competency curriculum integrated into required academic courses students have space in their schedules to pursue other important course electives in interest areas. Students are encouraged to pursue other passion areas by taking dynamic elective courses such as Music, Art, Technology, Athletics and others, and to practice the Academy’s leadership competencies by pursuing leadership positions in these activities. Not only can you take other electives and participate in multiple sports and activities, AAPLE strongly encourages it.

AAPLE Academy Instructors

Eight incredibly dedicated, dynamic, and inspiring teachers creatively integrate AAPLE leadership competency curriculum and excursions into their traditional core subject courses. Teachers design assignments, projects, curriculum, attend leadership enrichment activities and team building excursions and seek to develop deep and sustained relationships with their students.  AAPLE Teaching Team:

Ms. Miller

English 9 Honors AAPLE

Video Overview of Course

Mr. King

English 10 Honors AAPLE

Video Overview of Course


Msr. Howe

AP American Language and Composition

Video Overview of Course

Mr. Ricci

AP American Literature AAPLE & AAPLE Leadership Seminar

Video Overview of Course


Mr. Goettler

AP Environmental Science AAPLE

Video Overview of Course

Mr. Oftedal

AP World History AAPLE


Mr. Ohrn

AP American History AAPLE

Mr. Clow

AP American Government AAPLE

For additional questions please contact:
Mr. Nielsen or Ms. Hodges at

AAPLE Academy Admissions

Thank you for your interest in the Accelerated Academic Program for Leadership and Enrichment (AAPLE). Our motto Lead, Serve, Excel succinctly describes the Academy focus. It is important that applicants have a strong interest in organizational leadership, civic leadership, and leadership in the classroom.

The AAPLE Academy seeks students from varying social, economic, and cultural backgrounds. Our aim is to admit a diverse group of highly motivated and driven student leaders interested in leadership theory and practice and who desire to make a deep impact in their community.

Students from nine different junior high or middle school programs who reside within the Santa Barbara School district attendance area currently participate in the Academy. All students in the Academy commit to participating in the Academy for four years grades nine through twelve.

The application for admission will be available on the AAPLE Academy website the last week of November and will close in January. For additional information regarding the 2021-2022 application process, admissions timeline, and informational events please visit the AAPLE Academy Website at www.aapleacademy.com