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All Honorees

Use search features below to find honorees by district name, program category, or award cycle.

July 2017

Honoree: Encinitas Union School District Category College/career readiness

Encinitas Union School District knew career readiness rarely applied to elementary students but wanted to ensure that its learners were ready for future careers.

The heart of the program, which began in 2014-15, involves grouping students with similar interests and connecting them to real-world changes.

Honoree: Kankakee School District 111 Category College/career readiness

Like in many small towns, Kankakee businesses couldn’t find the workers to fill local jobs, and the high-performing students in the school district had to seek careers away from home—and sometimes in another state.

In Kankakee County, local business and industry leaders had over 3,000 jobs available without the proper workforce to fill them due to low graduation rates at Kankakee School District 111.

Honoree: Steilacoom Historical School District Category Community/family partnerships

The stressors for military students are many, starting with parents being deployed to active duty. Military families also move frequently, forcing students to say goodbye to old friends, make new friends, and adjust to new curricula.

Nearly half the students at Steilacoom Historical School District in Washington come from military families. So leaders developed a multifaceted program to support those needs.

Honoree: Bellevue School District Category Social-emotional learning

Bellevue School District wanted a comprehensive initiative to ensure they addressed the “whole child.” So in fall 2011, Bellevue adopted a social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum by teaching self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making.

The district expanded the curriculum to ensure that graduates possessed interpersonal skills.

Honoree: Downey USD Category STEM

Administrators at Downey USD faced a challenge: How could they create sustainable professional learning communities with 500 elementary school teachers and nearly 23,000 students? Their solution was STEAM Team, a core group of 15 Downey Unified elementary teachers with an average of 20 years of teaching experience.

Honoree: West Valley School District Category College/career readiness

West Valley High School has been honored previously as a DA District of Distinction for its Five Steps to Student Success. The fifth step—creating pathways to lead students to their career and educational goals—has earned recognition on its own.  

In 2013-14, the district created a comprehensive plan—the West Valley Programs of Study—that forged new industry partnerships to introduce students to career possibilities.

Honoree: Arlington Public Schools Category Summer school

To close an equity gap at Arlington Public Schools, the district’s office of minority achievement collaborated with the English Language Arts department to modify an existing summer program to fit the needs of black middle school students.

In 2013-14, the APS Summer Literacy Academy was born. Middle school principals and minority achievement coordinators identified students they felt would benefit.

Honoree: Fairfax County Public Schools Category Data-driven decision-making

At Fairfax County Public Schools, 28 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. So district leaders wanted to develop a dynamic enterprise tool to identify students in need of immediate intervention.

In 2014 they transformed their data warehouse, Education Decision Support Library, into a responsive instruction tool, a multitiered system that supports instructional decision-making at the division, school and classroom level for all students.

Honoree: Pomona USD Category School safety

Pomona USD faced a citywide gang problem. So the Southern California district sought and won a state grant to open The Learning Connection, an after-school safe haven for students.

Students receive intervention during the day and, in the after-school program, participate in multidisciplinary enrichment initiatives that connect back to classroom instruction. Teachers model lessons for after-school staff, and a district wide teacher specialist focuses on specific learners.

Honoree: Pickerington Local School District Category CIO/Blended learning

The newest generation of K12 students had not been testing up to par at the Pickerington Local School District in Ohio. And local businesses and colleges stressed that students needed to be better prepared for their futures.

So a task force considered how technology could engage students more deeply in learning, and produced the “Tradigital Learning Plan” last fall.

Honoree: Hayward USD Category Community/family partnerships

A two-generational program at Hayward USD encouraged parents to engage more in their children’s education. The research-based approach focuses on serving parents and students together through fun educational activities, such as storytelling, creating drones and robots, and various forms of dancing, from ballet to hip hop.

Previously, parent and student programs were separate. Workshops were primarily informational, rather than hands-on, and were offered only on weekday evenings.

Honoree: Orange County Public Schools Category Professional Development

When Orange County Public Schools in Florida launched a 1-to-1 program five years ago, leaders knew they had to ensure teachers used the 74,000 devices to their fullest potential.

The district implemented a scalable, blended professional development program that uses face-to-face, online, recorded and live PD sessions that incorporate videoconferences and other technologies. And PD recordings that are curated within a district learning-on-demand course are available.

Honoree: Coffeyville Public Schools Category At-risk/ELL

Coffeyville Public Schools, a high-poverty district with diverse needs, formed the Coffeyville Coalition of Early Education to change the cycle of poverty. Designed to sustain and improve early childhood in the district, the coalition is led by Superintendent Craig Correll as chairman and includes representatives from a community college and a local bank.

Honoree: MSD of Lawrence Township Category Early ed

When Indianapolis families said they wanted a “place where young kids can be young,” leaders of the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township designed their now nationally recognized Early Learning Centers.

The district wanted to create public options that compete with the highly accredited, private kindergarten and preschools that many middle- and upper-class children attended.

July 2016

Honoree: Alabaster City Schools Category Graduation rate

In 2013, Alabaster City Schools separated from Shelby County Schools to become its own district with 6,000 students—including 9 percent who need special education services, 1,000 who speak English as a second language, and nearly 40 percent who qualify for free or reduced lunch.

Prior to separation the graduation rate had been near 89 percent, but in the new district, there was a higher percentage of students at risk of not graduating.

Honoree: Commack Union Free School District Category College/career readiness

Rigor has provided more options for students at Commack Union Free School District.

With nearly 98 percent of its graduates going on to college each year—and 80 percent earning a Regents diploma with advanced designation—Commack Union developed a well-rounded college preparatory curriculum that features coursework sponsored by the International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement and Project Lead the Way programs.

Honoree: Anchorage School District Category Blended or online learning

The online iSchool initiative in Anchorage, Alaska expands disadvantaged students’ access to advanced coursework and gives all learners more flexibility to sign up for electives, voc-tech classes and after-school activities.

Honoree: Glastonbury Public Schools Category Professional development

Adjusting to a bolder global future, leaders at Glastonbury Public Schools revamped teachers’ professional learning communities to support iPad integration in classrooms.

A 1-to-1 iPad initiative starting in 2013 at Glastonbury High School is expanding to the middle schools. Teachers must update their instructional practices and apply technology correctly.

Honoree: Chichester School District Category College/career readiness

The Chichester School District’s college acceptance rate increased 19 percent after administrators launched an initiative designed to steer economically disadvantaged students toward higher ed.

Honoree: Erie Public Schools Category Health and wellness

Breakfast has jump-started a better beginning to the day in Erie. 

More than 85 percent of students in Erie’s Public Schools are classified as economically disadvantaged. The district provides free lunch and breakfast. But in 2013-14, only 16 percent to 44 percent were eating the breakfast that was being served in the school cafeteria.