School daze

Stanley O. Williford | 8/31/2011, 5 p.m.

"If you come here we will help you get into a Division 1 school,"she said.

Some Price students had little choice but to attend the school. They were practically born into it, having attended the church, Crenshaw Christian Center, along with their parents. Such was the case with Kristian Cloyd (class of 2006), who went from the nursery through high school and graduated in 2010 from UC Irvine. "It was definitely a family-type experience, starting in 1993 and being 'born' in the church," said Cloyd, who now works at Price as a development coordinator.

Lynessa Williams, 23, currently working on a master's in media studies at Syracuse University in New York agrees. She had been at Price so long "it felt like family." She started in the nursery and, like Cloyd, remained through high school. She graduated in 2006 and received her bachelor's from Chico State in Northern California.

High school tuition runs $6,402 a year and the school offers an assistance program. Last year's high school enrollment was about 75 students. From elementary through high school enrollment hovers around 150. The outstanding part is that 98 percent of Price graduates go on to four-year schools.

Over its 26-year life, FKCP has had numerous scholarship recipients: Breana Weaver (2011) to UCLA, Lauren Mathews (2005) to Stanford, Serena Nelson (2008) to Dartmouth, Jermaine Jamison (2001) to Fresno State on a combined academic-athletic scholarship in football. Jamison would eventually play briefly in the NFL. The school has racked up more than $900,000 in academic and athletic scholarships.

Last year, the makeup at Price was 80 percent African American, 9 percent Asian Pacific Islander, but with enrollment still open Cloyd believes it should have a strong Latino enrollment.

Price High is a Division 5 school, but because its basketball team is so good it is ranked as a Division 3AA program. Overall, Price has a remarkable number of athletes who have received four-year scholarships.

For example, over the last 16 years the basketball team has produced 20 scholarship players, six currently enrolled at such schools as UC Berkeley (Allen Crabbe and Richard Solomon), University of Washington (Tyreese Brasher), Montana State (Casey Trujeque), St. John's University (Norvel Pelle) and (University of Colorado) Askia Booker.

"We have in our senior class no less than three more that will be getting scholarships this year," said boy's basketbal coach Michael Lynch.

Cal Berkeley students Solomon and Crabbe are projected to be the first Price athletes to crack the ranks of the NBA.

FKCP also has teams in girls basketball, volleyball, football, track and softball, said Michael Jackson, athletic director. In 2009, its eight-man football team made the playoffs and four members of that team were awarded athletic scholarships. However, Jackson admitted that the football team was not as dominant as the basketball team.

Although FKCP would seem to have a lot to crow about as a learning institution, it rarely does. In fact, Price is considered by many to be one of the best-kept academic secrets around. With a total enrollment of around 150 in K through 12, Butler said the school could easily grow to 250 students "and still be comfortable."