Putting Students First

By Cecile S. Holmes

Though radically different in size and geography, the three grand-prize-winning school districts share a vision for public education that succeeds because of community cooperation.

Winners and districts earning honorable mention in the 13th annual Magna Awards program, sponsored by ASBJ with the support of Sodexho School Services, nominated a cross section of innovative projects. This year’s grand prize winners -- the Educational Service Center of Franklin County, Ohio; Washington state’s Bremerton School District 100-C; and New York’s Newark Central School District -- were selected from three enrollment categories.

Several districts sought to attract and keep skilled and better-qualified teachers. Others struggled to raise student scores on state and national academic assessment tests. Still others found unusual and creative ways to improve school services in financially stressed districts with student populations battling poverty and language barriers. Over and over, however, the winning districts’ projects tell the good news about public education and provide examples of best practices for others to follow.

Information on each of the winning and honorable mention districts can be found in a special supplement that comes with this month’s issue. The Magna Award winners and honorable mention districts will be recognized at the ASBJ Luncheon for School Leaders on April 16 during the National School Boards Association’s annual conference in San Francisco.

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