Richmond, Orrick school districts win distinction awards

The Richmond R-XVI School District and the Orrick School District were presented with the Distinction in Performance Award by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education during a banquet March 19 at the University of Central Missouri.
“The Distinction in Performance award is based on the 14 academic performance standards that are the basis of the state’s accreditation program for all school districts. The standards are based on scores from the state-mandated MAP tests, graduation rate, attendance, ACT scores, and other indicators.” (from DESE Web site)
Six individuals from the Richmond district attended the banquet and accepted the award on the district’s behalf. They included: Mary Pettegrew (Title 1, Sunrise Elementary), Hal Middleton (Middle School Social Studies), Jane Weisz (High School Math), Dr. Damon Kizzire (Middle School Principal), Dr. Brad Richey (Board Member) and Julie Stevenson (Curriculum Director).
Marcus Stucker, superintendent of the Orrick R-XI School District represented the district and accepted the award for Orrick.
“I want to commend the students, staff, and parents on their hard work and dedication that made it possible to achieve this award for two consecutive years,” said Stucker. “It takes everyone working together and supporting the school district to consistently perform at this level. I think it shows that our Board of Education and entire school district are focused on student success.”
According to Julie Stevenson, the award was presented by the Regional Professional Development Center to all receiving schools earning this award in this area. The Central RPDC is located on the UCM campus and is comprised of the following 14 counties: Bates, Benton, Cass, Carroll, Henry, Hickory, Johnson, Lafayette, Morgan, Pettis, Ray, St. Clair, Saline and Vernon.
Receiving schools were first notified in December that they had met the performance standards, and were making consistent progress in all areas of academic achievement.
“I have known for many years that R-XVI was an award-winning district,” said Middleton. “This honor puts it into perspective.”
“Education is a tough business, but as I sat watching the faces of three Richmond R-XVI veteran teachers receive this award, I knew that all the hard work was worth it,” said Stevenson. “The teachers of the Richmond School District have worked so diligently towards improved student performance and it was nice to see this effort rewarded.”
Superintdent Jim Robins told The Daily News, “Obviously, we are very excited about the DIP in 2008. We achieved this in 2003 and are glad to be back on top. We have done a lot of work as a group in the past few years with the professional learning communities and with putting people in small groups and giving them the chance to come up with their own ideas and plans for how to improve our schools. This recognition shows that our staff and our leadership is working together to do great things.”
Photo: Six representatives from the Richmond School District traveled to UCM to receive the Distinction in Performance Award, honoring the school, teachers and students’ achievements. Left to right are: Tony Stansberry – Missouri Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education Area Secretary, Hal Middleton (RMS Social Studies teacher), Jane Weisz (RHS Math teacher), Dr. Brad Richey (Board Member), Mary Pettegrew (Title 1, Sunrise Elementary), Heidi Atkins Lieberman – assistant commissioner for Special Education, and Julie Blaine – director of the Central Regional Professional Development Center.

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