What’s new


November 11-13, 2014As they prepare to open a new state-of-the-art high school campus, Architects of Achievement led school, business and higher education professionals from Baton Rouge on a study tour to the Metro School, Bio-med Science Academy and MC2 STEM School.

October 31, 2014Victoria Bergsagel visited the newly-opened Kingsworth International School. This impressive school offers a unique blend of serious academics in a relaxed, personalized and supportive atmosphere.

October 2, 2014 – The President of the American Institute of Architects, Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, offered Victoria Bergsagel an appointment to serve on the 2015 Educational Facilities Design Awards Jury.

July 15, 2014 Victoria Bergsagel keynoted the Educurious Summer Institute and helped participants think more deeply about the design of their own 21st century learning studios.

May 16, 2014 As a Founding Board Member, Victoria Bergsagel hosted several guests at the Sixth Annual Construction for Change Banquet. The organization empowers developing communities by establishing facilities that promote access to education, healthcare and economic opportunity.

May 1, 2014 In an article entitled, “Thinking Ahead,” Victoria Bergsagel is quoted in an article in the May issue of American School and University regarding the future of educational environments.

April 30, 2014 Victoria Bergsagel facilitated a community meeting with school leaders, parents, teachers and higher ed partners to envision expanded state-of-the-art STEM programs in Riverside, CA.

April 29, 2014 Victoria Bergsagel participated in a think tank at the University of Washington called “Equity Through Design” to reimagine the Danforth Educational Leadership Program (a principal preparation program) in light of the needs and opportunities of 21st century leaders and learners.

March 3, 2014 Victoria Bergsagel gave a keynote focused on STEM learning in Williamsburg, VA, offering a national and international perspective about changing educational design attitudes for 21st century learning. While there working with the Virginia Facility Educational Planners, she also served on the design jury that recognized excellence in educational facility design.

October 4, 2013 Focusing on creativity and innovation, Victoria Bergsagel gave a plenary keynote at Spain's 10th International Congress of Education in Bilbao, Spain. 

September 26, 2013 One of AofA's most exciting projects to date, the new Lee Campus in Baton Rouge, was featured in a community forum.

September 21, 2013 Victoria Bergsagel co-presented "Making a Difference in the Developing World" at the Annual Conference of the Council of Educational Planners International in Indianapolis, highlighting projects completed by Construction for Change, of which she is a Board Member.

June 26-28, 2013 As they prepare to design a new school, Victoria led the Houston School of the Performing and Visual Arts on a study tour to the Baltimore School for the Arts, the LEED Platinum Kensington School of the Arts in Philadelphia and a variety of NYC-based art schools and theaters including the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, Julliard, the Claire Tow Theater at Lincoln Center, Alice Tully Hall, the Diana Center at Barnard (including the Glicker-Milstein Theater), the The Ailey School of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Baryshnikov Arts Center, and the Orchestra of St. Luke's Dimenna Center for Classical Music.

May 13, 2013 — Victoria Bergsagel facilitated a Community Guiding Principles Summit in Baton Rouge including business and community leaders, higher education professionals, college presidents, architects, K12 teachers, parents and students.

March 26, 2013 — Victoria Bergsagel was interviewed by Tom Weber on NPR's The Daily Circuit.To listen to the interview and read more, click here.

March 14, 2013 — Katie Ash of Education Week (the premier national education weekly) authored a thoughtful article entitled, Digital Learning Priorities Influence School Building Design, featuring commentary by Victoria Bergsagel.

March 5, 2013 — Victoria Bergsagel, one of the earliest supporters of Construction for Change, is featured in their March Newsletter. Click here to read the article.

December 2, 2012 — A Brave New Campus: Learning Retreat for the 21st Century featuring Marysville Getchell High School Campus was presented via a 21st Century School Design Webinar. Click here for a copy of the presentation.

October 31, 2012 — Facilitated by Victoria Bergsagel, a fun and thoughtful group of architects, project managers and educators met in Denver to learn, brainstorm and dream about the best school designs for 21st Century Denver Public Schools.

October 20, 2012 — Asking the question: "Is there a magic number, formula or setting for early childhood education?" Victoria Bergsagel offered a keynote speech at the Early Childhood Education Design Conference in Denver.

September 28, 2012 — Victoria Bergsagel presented AofA's involvement in the award-winning Marysville-Getchell campus at CEFPI's first ever MacConnel Symposium.

September 26, 2012 — Introduced by Norway's Minister of Education, Victoria Bergsagel gave the keynote speech at the 10th Annual Directorate of Education National Conference on School Facilities in Kristiansand, Norway.

CLICK HERE for a link to the Directorate's web site and Bergsagel's slide-show presentation.

June 7, 2012 — Victoria Bergsagel presented The Healthiest School on the Planet with the DRL Group Seattle at the annual Pacific Northwest CEFPI Conference in Bellevue, Washington.

May 9, 2012 — Victoria Bergsagel opened the annual Council of Educational Facilities Planners International (CEFPI) Southwest Conference with her keynote speech.

CLICK HERE for a link to the CEFPI web site.

April 27, 2012 — Marysville's Getchell High School has won yet another prize (the Learning by Design Grant Prize).

CLICK HERE to read article by Tom Vander Ark on GettingSmart.com.

February 2012 AofA traveled to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong to work with a delightful international school network.

January 2012 The AofA team enjoyed Lake Geneva while working with two marvelous schools in Switzerland.

October 4, 2011 Victoria Bergsagel spoke at the Castilleja Advancement Forum.

November 7, 2011 — A sustainable educational utopia has come to life in an oak-studded valley in the heart of Malibu Canyon. Architects of Achievement was proud to be at the ribbon-cutting of one of our latest projects, the Muse School CA.

September 18, 2011 AofA, in partnership with the Marysville School District, DLR Group and Brain Spaces won the James D. MacConnell Award, one of the most prestigious school design awards in the United States and the world.

CLICK HERE to see a short video about the Marysville Getchell Campus.

A fact sheet on the campus is available at EducationDesignShowcase.com.

CLICK HERE for a Flickr slide show and article on the Marysville Globe web site.

September 14, 2011 —  AofA's Victoria Bergsagel meets with Sir Ken Robinson at Muse School in Malibu Canyon, California. CLICK HERE for a link to Muse School.

June 16-17, 2011 —  At a USC symposium hosted by their School of Architecture, Victoria Bergsagel worked with educators and architects to discuss urban education and 21st century school design. Watch a brief video summarizing the event here.

April 10, 2011 —  AofA’s award-winning Marysville Getchell Campus in Washington State was just named the 2011 Grand Prize winner for the best school design in the nation by theNational School Boards Association (NSBA). CLICK HERE to learn more about Marysville Getchell Campus.

April 10, 2011 —  AofA is collaborating with Jacobs and the US Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) to provide a vision for education based on best-practices and promising new trends that promote student success. This vision will impact the development of more than 100 DoDEA schools slated for replacement or renovation in the next 5-7 years. CLICK HERE for a video featuring Victoria Bergsagel.

January 27, 2011 —  Victoria Bergsagel conducted a keynote presentation at Oregon School Board Association’s Sustainable Schools Conference entitled, Green Schools: School Design, Health and Performance.

January 20, 2011 —  Victoria Bergsagel kicked-off a formal planning process for future Denver Public Schools educational specifications, highlighting in a workshop how design and construction standards can support great places to learn. 

November 8-9, 2010 —  Community meetings attended by hundreds of people were facilitated by Victoria Bergsagel in the East Valley School District (in Eastern Washington State). School design, grade level configuration, and bond planning were issues addressed, leading to very engaging conversations by all in attendance.

November 5, 2010 —  Victoria Bergsagel conducted school design training for Office of the Chief Operations Officer and the Facilities, Planning and Maintenance departments of the Denver Public Schools.

November 3, 2010 —  A scintillating discussion emerged after a talk on school design led by Victoria Bergsagel a dinner meeting at Stapleton Foundation in Denver, CO.

October 19-20, 2010 —  Victoria Bergsagel conducted design charrettes with teachers, parents and students ranging from 2 to 11 years old, as the Muse School CA begins plans for the design of its new campus in Calabasas, CA.

September 18, 2010  —  The already award-winning Marysville-Getchell High School Campus (including the Bio Med Academy, School for the Entrepreneur, Academy of Construction and Engineering, and the International Communications School) was dedicated and celebrated by the Marysville community.  AofA is proud to have partnered with such a courageous school district and talented architectural team on this innovative project. CLICK HERE for a Flickr slide show and article on the Marysville Globe web site.

September 3, 2010  —  High Tech High North County was recently nominated for a sustainable design award by the San Diego Architectural Foundation.

August 13, 2010  —  Denver Public Schools (DPS) celebrated the much-anticipated opening of the Evie Garrett Dennis K-12 Campus, located in Green Valley Ranch. AofA proudly worked with the community to develop the guiding principles for this project, which completed ahead of schedule and approximately $5.8 million under budget, is the first LEED-Gold campus in DPS, resulting in two of the four buildings requiring “zero energy!"

July 10, 2010  —  Victoria Bergsagel participated in a Construction for Change Board meeting and is thankful for the opportunity to serve with such a committed and service-oriented organization.

June 8, 2010 — In conjunction with Microsoft, the Architects of Achievement team hosted a group of premier education and governmental leaders from Taiwan on a study tour of innovative US learning environments and worked with them to envision future schools.

April 28, 2010  — Victoria Bergsagel served on the jury of School Building Week's School of the Future Competition in Washington, D.C., for the seventh year in a row. The annual competition challenges middle school teams to think creatively as they design tomorrow's green schools to enhance learning, conserve resources, be environmentally responsive and engage the surrounding community. The student contributions are truly amazing.

Click here for highlights from School Building Week.

April 7, 2010  — Victoria Bergsagel lectured at the Congress of New Urbanism in North Texas at their speakers series entitled, Our Kids in Crisis: The Connection Between School Design, Health and Performance. She spoke on the "Neurobiology of Learning." Watch Victoria's speech here:

CNU NTX speech

April 7, 2010  — Victoria Bergsagel appeared on the National Public Radio program Think with Krys Boyd on KERA 90.1 FM. Listen to the podcast by clicking on the following link. (The recording should start playing on your computer's media player, but may take a moment to start.)

Victoria Bergsagel on KERA radio (podcast)

February 4, 2010  — Victoria Bergsagel spoke at a program entitled, The Relationship of Quality School Facilities to School Achievement, sponsored by California State University's Central Valley Educational Leadership Institute. Joined by Kathleen Moore, California Department of Education's Director of School Facilities Planning Division, Victoria gave a presentation entitled, Educate to Innovate.

September 29, 2009  — Victoria Bergsagel presented her analysis of the synergy between the educational program and the building at the Virginia Education Facility Planners (VEFP) mid-year conference. She found that the leadership, non-traditional elementary school programs, and exemplary design have very positively impacted the learning of the students. The VEFP is a chapter of the Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI).

Click here for a link to the seminar web site

August 4, 2009  — The Los Angeles Times reports that the dropout rate in the LA Unified School District is down significantly. The conversion of large high schools into smaller learning communities is credited as part of the reason for this dramatic improvement. Architects of Achievement has been deeply involved with school transformations in L.A., advising the school district how to make the transition to smaller learning environments, as early as 2003.

Click here for a link to the Los Angeles Times article.

May 8, 2009  — Victoria Bergsagel spoke at the closing session of the Pennsylvania School Board Association (PSBA) 2009 School Design & Construction Conference on May 8, 2009. Along with Tracy Suchan-Toothaker (Marysville School District) and Craig Mason (DLR Architects) Bergsagel gave a presentation on the Marysville School District and its successful changes. The presenters showed that planning and design can occur simultaneously. A nonspecific approach can result in a facility with unparalleled flexibility, capable of adapting to changing curriculum design.

April 28, 2009  — Victoria Bergsagel will jury the "School of the Future" design competition in Washington, D.C., on April 28, 2009. The competition is hosted by the Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI).

Click here to find out more about School Building Week

April 7, 2009  —  Victoria Bergsagel and fellow presenters spoke at the National School Boards Association's 2009 Annual Conference in San Diego. The session was entitled "The Heart of Education Change: Rethinking Education through Planning and Design." Co-presenters Cindy Erickson (Marysville School District Board Member) and Craig Mason, AIA (DLR Group) told of their experience planning schools in Marysville, Washington.

Click here for a link to the NSBA Annual Conference.

April 1, 2009 — $44 Billion in Stimulus Funds Available. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that $44 billion for states and schools is now available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. The press release is available at the Department of Education's "Recovery" page.

Click here for a link to the Dept. of Education Recovery page.

March 20, 2009 —  Victoria Bergsagel participated in the Architecture for Education Dream Team Education Symposium in Pasadena, CA. The symposium brought together an influential group of forward-thinking individuals to discuss the educational benefits of creative, integrated school design. Cosponsors included the University of Aurora and University of New Mexico.

March 2, 2009  —  At the Annual Conference of the Virginia Education Facility Planners (VEFP), Victoria Bergsagel provided a keynote address, Designing Powerful Places for Learning. She joined Ron Bogle and Susan Rundle on an architectural jury that selected winners for the year's best elementary, middle and high school designs in Virginia.

Click here to read an abstract of the presentation.

Click here to see the VEFP winners.

January 22, 2009 —  Together with Craig Mason and Tom Vander Ark (Mangaging Director of Revolutionary Learning), Victoria Bergsagel travelled to Shanghai to assist a network of international schools develop a range of potential capacity and facilities improvements on a number of their campuses.

November 26, 2008 — At an exciting meeting in Prague, Czech Republic, Victoria Bergsagel met with 100 of the top managers of Nord Anglia International Schools Division and Baring Private Equity Asia to discuss Powerful Places for Learning.

November 19, 2008 — David Stephen made a presentation to officials from the Dayton Regional STEM Academy and Wright State University College of Education, including the Board of Directors, university partners, building developers, and founding teachers about designing dynamic STEM environments.

November 17-18, 2008 — David Stephen worked with T-STEM in Dallas, Texas to discuss progress in the development of 38 STEM Academies.

November 14, 2008 — The Oregon School Board Association (OSBA) hosted Victoria Bergsagel, Todd Ferking, and Greg O���Mara as they presented The Journey to a Smaller Learning Community at the OSBA���s 62nd Annual Meeting.

October 2, 2008 — Victoria Bergsagel joined Craig Webber and Ken Stevenson on a Bringing it All Together Plenary Panel moderated by Sue Robertson at the Council of Educational Facility Planners Annual Conference in San Diego, CA. After listening to hundreds of participants they summed up the group's learning and offered insights into next steps for participants and the organization.

September 30, 2008 — Victoria Bergsagel, alongside Craig Mason and Tracy Suchan-Toothaker, spoke at the Council of Educational Facility Planners Annual Conference in San Diego, CA. Their session, The Heart of Educational Change, addressed how learning environments can be designed to be agile, expandable and adaptable to curricula and activities of the future and better prepared to accommodate the evolution of education throughout the life of the facility. The new Marysville-Getchell High School Campus was featured.

September 4-5, 2008 — Victoria Bergsagel participates in a forum entitled Creating Effective Learning Environments in Historic and Non-Traditional School Facilities in New York City. The forum, part of AAF's Great Schools by Design program, is intended to educate communities, designers, and decision-makers on the challenges and benefits of historic preservation and adaptive reuse of historic buildings, as well as options for adapting other structures to educational uses.

August 15, 2008 — Victoria Bergsagel presents Powerful Places for Learning at the Tandus Design Symposium in Santa Fe, NM.

July 17, 2008 — Victoria Bergsagel, together with Kelley Tanner and Craig Mason present The Heart of Educational Change: Rethinking Education Through Planning and Design at the Council of Educational Facility Planners International Regional Conference in Portland, OR.

April 30, 2008 — For the fifth year running, Victoria Bergsagel serves on a national design jury for School Building Week's School of the Future Design Competition, which offers students across the country with the opportunity to illustrate the kind of creativity they can bring to the school planning and design process.

April 2008 — Victoria Bergsagel is part of the League of Extraordinary School Designers at the School Building Expo. This team of five thought leaders was selected to share ideas on good school design at the conference.

April 2, 2008 — Victoria Bergsagel, Craig Mason and Amy Yurko present a seminar entitled Imagination to Reality: High School Gets Flexible, Adaptable & Inviting at the School Building Expo in Chicago, IL.

March 2008 — The Architects of Achievement office has moved! Please make note of our new address under the "Contact" page.

February 2008 — Victoria Bergsagel, Ellis Kaufman, Tony Wagner, and others will be presenting at the Small Learning Community Winter Institute. The event will feature workshops with presenations from various school teams, community, parents and students on the topic of small learning communities at Los Angeles Unified School District.

December 2007 — An article entitled, Designing for Achievement: Processes, Principles and Patterns, authored by Victoria Bergsagel, is featured CEFPI's quarterly publication, Educational Facility Planner. The article explores how architecture gives form to the patterns by which we live and how our interest in a school's physical space can influence its philosophy and learning culture.

November 14, 2007 — Together with Kathleen Moore, Director of Facilities for the California Department of Education, and Mary Filardo of the 21st Century School Fund, Victoria Bergsagel made a presentation at the California Achievement Gap Summit entitled The Impact of School Facilities on Student Performance and Retention of Teachers.

Click here to read the presentation.

November 2007 — Together with authors Tim Best, Kathleen Cushman, Lorne Mc Conachie, Wendy Sauer, and David Stephen, Victoria Bergsagel releases Architecture for Achievement: Building Patterns for Small School Learning. In the book, this team of experienced architects and educators charts a practical and elegant path through the maze of decisions encountered in a school building or conversion project. Filled with examples from the filled, Architecture for Achievement sets out a "pattern language" with which planners can explore the architectural details that will make or break their school's design. Now available on Amazon.com.

November 2007 — Architects of Achievement releases their new DVD entitled, Architecture for Achievement: Our Kids Deserve Better. Vividly illustrating a variety of smart design patterns, the video — used in conjunction with an accompanying video guide and with the new book, Architecture for Achievement: Building Patterns for Small School Learning — is a valuable resource for anyone embarking upon, or in the midst of, a school redesign process.

November 2007 — Authors Victoria Bergsagel, Tim Best, Kathleen Cushman, and David Stephen together facilitate a session entitled, "Learner-Focused Architecture: Building Patterns for Small School Learning" at the annual Coalition of Essential Schools Fall Forum in Denver, Colorado. The session highlighted key concepts from the newly released book, Architecture for Achievement: Building Patterns for Small School Learning.

October 10-12, 2007 — A keynote address entitled, "Benefits of Small School Initiatives" was delivered by Victoria Bergsagel at the annual state conference for the Michigan American Institute of Architects (hosted by the Michigan Architectural Foundation).

October 5-9, 2007 — At the annual CEFPI conference in Toronto, Canada, Victoria Bergsagel and David Stephen presented a seminar entitled, "Designs for Achievement" with Steven Bingler, engaging participants in learning how to utilize powerful processes, principles and patterns to achieve outstanding educational results.

April 2007 —  Together with Gaylaird Christopher, Victoria Bergsagel wrote an article for the American School Board Journal's annual Learning by Design publication entitled, Making the Best Sense of Small Schools: Educational Program Goals Drive Effective Design. The article relates how a smart balance between educational program goals, curriculum and design features results in small schools that make sense for all students.

March 30, 2007  — Victoria Bergsagel, joined by Randy Fielding, facilitated a panel discussion and half-day training session at the Washington State CEFPI Annual Conference entitled, "A Pattern Language for Schools... Is there One? Should There Be One?" This session included thoughtful participants, a distinguished panel and most importantly, teacher and student involvement. In fact, students stole the show as they displayed technology prowess and offered tremendous insight into a more powerful and effective learning environments.

March 29, 2007  — For the second year in a row, Victoria Bergsagel served on the design jury for the Polished Apple Award, selecting Washington state's most innovative school architecture project and identifying three projects of merit. The awards were given by the Washington State Chapter of the Council of Educational Facility Planners International.

August 8, 2006 — Victoria Bergsagel testified to the Joint Education Committee of the Louisiana House and Senate. As a result, the committee approved eight design principles focused on: supporting a variety of learning styles; enhancing learning by technology integration; fostering a small school culture; supporting neighborhood schools; creating schools as centers of community; engaging the public in the planning process; making healthy, comfortable, and flexible learning spaces; and providing non-traditional options for school facilities and classrooms. In addition to approving the suggested design guidelines, the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) also established an initial allocation of $200 million to begin the educational facilities recovery process.

Click here for more information from the LRA

June 22, 2006  — Victoria Bergsagel presented to the Los Angeles Unified School District's Board of Directors Select Committee on Small Learning Communities. Victoria updated the committee, as well as key LAUSD leaders from the Office of the Superintendent, Office of School Redesign, and Facilities Division, on the progress of small learning community development in the district as well as lessons learned in both conversion projects and new high school design.

June 2006 —  Victoria Bergsagel contributes an article entitled Community Partnerships — Student Success and Community Vitality to School Planning & Management magazine. The article shares that, while schools have long been the heart of their communities, both schools and communties can be transformed by partnering together to help all students achieve.

May 9, 2006 — At the CEFPI 2006 Pacific Northwest Region Conference, Victoria Bergsagel served on the design jury for the Pinnacle and Polished Apple Awards, presented to entrants exhibiting innovative school architecture.

May 1-2, 2006 — Victoria Bergsagel delivers a plenary session at the Southwest Education Alliance's Redesigning Schools Conference. Approximately 300 supintendents, directors, supervisors, school level administrators, and teachers attended the conference, held in Charlotte, North Carolina.

April 4, 2006 — CEFPI's Southeast Region Annual Conference featured two seminars by Victoria Bergsagel. The first, entitled "Gates Foundation Results," focused on the research base, promising results, and change strategy of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In the second, "Small Schools From the Ground Up and the Roof Down," Bergsagel shared innovative design solutions for new small school construction as well as for schools converting existing facilities to accomodate smaller learning communities.