At last week’s meeting of the Polk County School Board we honored a special group of principals.
Thanks to a lot of hard work, seven PCPS schools were able to raise their state-issued grades last year, meaning they will no longer be monitored for improvement.
The gains made by these “turnaround” schools deserve to be celebrated. Schools that earn low grades (D or F) face additional oversight, adding to the pressure and challenges that all schools deal with on a daily basis.
Improving a school grade requires a tremendous amount of effort and support by all involved — students, faculty and district staff. But at the end of the day, principals shoulder much of the responsibility to make sure their schools succeed.
With that in mind, we recognized principals from seven schools that all earned a C grade last year and exited turnaround status. Congratulations to:
– Dart Meyers, Frostproof Ben Hill Griffin Elementary
– Elizabeth Munoz, Eastside Elementary
– Terri Christian, Denison Middle
– Qvonda Blackman, Garner Elementary
– Roberta “BJ” Stinson and Tammy Farrens, Griffin Elementary
– Carol Griffin, Oscar J. Pope Elementary
– Jason Looney, Tenoroc High
The schools’ progress “is a testament to their tenacity, and to the hard work of the teachers who didn’t give up and kept working with all of the changes we brought that are for the good of the students,” said Patricia Barnes, the regional superintendent who oversees PCPS’ turnaround schools. “We’re also proud of the students for their ability to remain steadfast and believe they could do the work, which they did.”