By Pat Jenkins
Eatonville High School is among 413 schools statewide that have been named as Washington Achievement Award winners based on their academic excellence.
The award is sponsored by the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and the state’s Board of Education. The winners, who were announced last week, are selected using the state’s Accountability Index and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Waiver.
Using the criteria provides “feedback to schools and districts on their progress” and helps single out schools that are achieving “exemplary student performance,” said Kristina Mayer, the board’s chairwoman. “These awards shine the light on what is working well in schools across Washington.”
The schools are reviewed for overall excellence, high progress, growth in reading and math, English language acquisition, and extended graduation rate. The latter applies only to high schools.
“So many schools in our state are doing good work to make a difference for kids,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn. “These awards represent some of the best. It’s an honor to recognize them and celebrate their success.”
Eatonville High and the other award-winning schools for 2013 will be honored at a ceremony April 24 at Timberline High School in Lacey.
Krestin Bahr, superintendent of Eatonville School District, congratulated the staff of the district’s only high school.
“Rarely have I witnessed a group of educators so laser-focused on what is best for all the students they serve,” Bahr said. “Your work is recognized in this state and community. However, the most powerful evidence lies in your commitment to children. Every day I hear from the young people at the high school how much they love their teachers.”
Bahr quoted principal Ashley Barker, who praised the staff for “providing rigorous academic opportunities, quality instruction and learning in every classroom, and a high level of collaboration focused on student academic achievement gains. There is an academic culture; paired with strong community and family support of our students. Bottom line: We have great kids who know the harder they work, the smarter they become.”
Meanwhile, the school is close to having a replacement for Barker, who is stepping down at the end of the current school year to have more time for her family and other interests. The top two candidates for the position underwent a second round of interviews last Wednesday. Parents, students and the faculty and staff were given separate opportunities as groups to meet each candidate.
It’s expected that a new principal will be appointed before the school year is over.