John Essex receives Points of Light School awardBy Matt Cole Published 1:27pm Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence, Inc. awarded its Blue Ribbon Points of Light School Award to John Essex High School recently.
This award recognizes schools that have excelled in nine critical performance areas including active teaching and learning, challenging standards and curriculum, technology integration and student support and focus, among others.
Principal Tiffany Davis said the award shows the hard work that all of the faculty, staff and students have put into the school.
“It shows that when you have hard-working, dedicated people, you can do anything,” Davis said. “With the right faculty and staff with dedication, you can turn a school around from failing to successful, like we have here at John Essex.”
Schools receiving this award participated in a comprehensive school self-assessment, which was validated by a rigorous on-site evaluation. From this evaluation process, schools developed a school-wide action plan that included measurable, documented results. This positive, collaborative school reform process encompasses the entire learning community and leads to improvement.
Davis said that not only has the school improved academically, but it has also improved aesthetically.
“The building is cleaner than ever before, and the students have been motivated, not only academically, but they’re also interested in the school as a whole,” she said.
There is a courtyard behind the school that Davis said is one of the favorite spots for students during their break.
“The students helped put the courtyard together,” Davis said. “The science classes planted flowers to go along with their studies.”
One student, Dimitri Brock, is a senior ambassador at John Essex. He said it was an honor for his school to receive the award.
“It was a great feeling,” Brock said. “I felt like I was a part of it, and I felt like we deserved it for all of our hard work.”
The school’s reading coach, Romekia Johnson, said it was a great honor for the school to receive the Blue Ribbon award.
“It’s an honor for the school,” she said. “It means the children, faculty and staff are all working hard.”
Bioncia Sharp, a teacher at the school, said the school has come together to get better, and that “a change has come to John Essex High School.”