By ECHO DAY
On Wednesday morning, Marcus Heaston strutted around the Covington High School gym, microphone in hand, big smile on his face.
"You know I'm peacock proud," he told students, faculty and staff. "You all earned this."
During the event celebrating the school's second consecutive State Collaborative on Reforming Education win, Heaston was determined to applaud the effort of everyone responsible for keeping the honor at CHS.
The school has the highest Algebra I value-added assessment growth scores in the state and strong three-year growth marks in English II and Biology I as well.
It's no wonder they're repeat state champions when it comes to academics, said Jamie Woodson, SCORE president and CEO.
"The SCORE prize recognizes public schools and school systems that exemplify how to improve academic performance even as we raise academic expectations in our state," she said. "We applaud them, their educators, their students, their parents and their communities for leading the way."
Covington High in the Tipton County Schools district serves more than 750 students in grades 9-12 in Covington. It was one of three school finalists in its category for the SCORE Prize, and the winner was announced Oct. 28 during an event in Nashville.
All Tennessee public schools and districts are eligible for the SCORE Prize, which uses a two-step process to identify finalists and winners. In the first stage, finalists were identified through a weighted criteria selection process that took into account growth from the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS) and improvement on the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP). College-readiness data, such as ACT and college attendance rates, were considered for high schools and districts.
The second stage of SCORE Prize selection consisted of site visits to the finalists to document the policies and practices that have enabled them to make significant gains in student achievement. The selection process was guided by a committee of educators and community partners.
"The SCORE prize is awarded to the high school that dramatically improves student achievement and for two years in a row, you have earned this distinction through your hard work, your hustle and your effort," Woodson said.
Additionally, she said from the committee's October site visit, observations were made that will help the rest of the country make the same achievements Covington High School has made.
"It's been a great day for Covington High School," said director of schools Dr. Buddy Bibb. "What makes it so special is your hard work and dedication each and every day from all you, from the principal all the way down to the freshman and everyone in between. That's why we're able to celebrate here today."
Heaston said in order to make the award happen, a cornerstone was laid by former principal Peggy Murdock, who was recognized several times during the event and encouraged students to take a snapshot of the day's event for reflection. "Think about what you did and what you gave to make this happen, she said. "Everyone single one of us in this building contributed to the success we're celebrating today."