Clermont Northeastern named a Pacesetter School

Dave Spence, president of the Southern Regional Education Board, right, and Heather Powell, principal,of Clermont Northeastern Middle School.
Clermont Northeastern Middle School has been selected as a national Making Middle Grades Work (MMGW) Pacesetter School.

This award is based on the success of local school leaders and teachers in improving school practices and raising student achievement.

The award was presented by Dave Spence, president of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), at the 25th Annual HSTW Staff Development Conference in Nashville, Tennessee on Wednesday, July 20, 2011.

Clermont Northeastern Middle School was one of only 8 MMGW schools in the nation to receive the 2011 Pacesetter Award.

Impressively, CNE MS is only the second school in history to receive back-to-back Pacesetter Awards.

Spence praised the school for its achievement, noting the crucial role of these middle grades schools in preparing more students for success in high school, further studies, work and citizenship. Spence praised the schools for their dedication and hard work on the part of state, district and school leaders and teachers to make progress in improving student achievement. He presented the award to Heather Powell, principal, before an audience of more than 5,000 educators from across the nation attending the HSTW Conference.

“This is truly an honor for our students and teachers to be recognized for all their hard work and dedication. CNE is a wonderful place to be,” Powell said.

To be recognized as a MMGW Pacesetter School, schools met a variety of criteria. Pacesetter schools deeply implement the Making Middle Grades Workdesign, teach students a rigorous curriculum, have high achievement and meet the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) criteria of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

“This school has shown what can be accomplished to raise student achievement by deeply implementing the Making Middle Grades Work model for strengthening curriculum and instruction,” SREB Senior Vice President Gene Bottoms said. “The school illustrates the spirit of change and the gains in performance that Making Middle Grades Work advocates to get students ready for challenging academic and career/technical courses in high school.”

“Research shows that the ninth grade is a critical transition point for students coming from the middle grades,” Bottoms said. “Students who struggle in the ninth grade are much more likely to drop out of high school.

For that reason, schools in the SREB Making Middle Grades Work initiative devote time and effort in preparing students to be successful in high school.”

More than 450 middle grades schools in 21 states participate in the MMGWschool improvement initiative to create a culture of high expectations and prepare middle grades students for challenging high school courses and productive careers.

SREB, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, advises state education leaders on ways to improve education.

SREB was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislatures to help leaders in education and government work cooperatively to advance education and improve the social and economic life of the region. SREB has 16 member states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Each is represented by its governor and four gubernatorial appointees.

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