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Aspire Benjamin Holt College Preparatory Academy

One Team. One Vision.

About Ben Holt

Aspire Benjamin Holt College Preparatory Academy is a College for Certain charter school proud to be a part of the Aspire Public Schools family. We serve students grades 9-12 and boast an academic resume unrivaled by local non-selective schools. Our motto is One Team. One Vision.
Our team is excellent, and our vision is lofty but attainable: Every student is prepared to earn a college degree. Thank you for choosing Ben Holt!

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Message from Wes Frakes, Principal

Welcome! I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you and your student to the 2023-24 school year and introduce myself.
Born in Montana, raised in California, I come to Aspire with a simple personal goal in mind. I want to spend the next several decades of my life working in a school and a school system that really matters, and I want to reside in a place in the country that I could feel excited about. I want to live my professional life in congruence with how I live my personal life, and I want to find a community of people searching for the same thing. The College for Certain fit perfectly with both my values as a dad and husband, as well as how I believe we should approach student learning.
My adventures to becoming an educator, and ultimately a school leader, was not a straight line. I came from a school system that behaves like many school systems in the US; good and decent humans teaching in a system that did little to lift up under-represented communities. Since I grew up in significant poverty, I was never, in the eyes of the system, a serious contender for college. Many years and many struggles later I proved that to be untrue, and dedicated the rest of my career toward affecting school change. Before Aspire, I honed my practice in K-5 schools in the Sylvan School District of Modesto as a classroom teacher and as a school leader. While working for Aspire Schools during my first six years of administrative experience, I led a school that helped to prove that college goers could be found in all students, regardless of background; most of my students were the first in their families to receive college acceptance letters and our school was the highest performing secondary school in the county. During the 2016-2018 school years, I was the principal of k-8 turnaround school, and successfully helped to remind a depressed school community of their own value and
Being back here at Aspire makes me feel alive and proud and excited. It’s energizing to know that we are engaging the national conversation about what it really means to be an educated student, and we are doing so in compelling and sophisticated ways right here in our classrooms!
Come by and ask me about my personal education story, and I’ll ask you about yours. There’s much work still to be done; together, we can continue to impact education for our children here and for educators everywhere.

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