WATER VALLEY – The Water Valley School District was among 12 recipients recognized Tuesday, November 13 in Jackson as a part of the Mississippi School Boards Association’s Lighthouse School Leader Awards Program. The district earned one of six Lantern awards in the program, in honor of its all Level 5 (superior-performing) schools.
Three districts received Beacon awards for having all Level 5 schools that also met federal AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) standards. Three others – where 85 percent or more of the students qualify for free lunch — received the Torch Award for having at least one Level 5 school that also met federal AYP standards.
A district award and lapel pins were presented to Water Valley School District representatives in honor of the district’s outstanding achievement. On hand for the ceremony were board member Taylor Trusty, Superintendent Sammy Higdon, and board members Phyllis Goodwin and Cayce Washington.
The MSBA Lighthouse School Leader Awards Program was established by the Mississippi School Boards Association in the 2003-04 school year in recognition of the unsung efforts of school districts to meet more rigorous state and federal accountability standards.
In presenting an overview of the awards program during the MSBA Lighthouse School Leader Awards Luncheon on November 13, MSBA Executive Director Michael Waldrop said that the range of district presentations is evidence that all school districts can accomplish high student achievement goals, regardless of student backgrounds. He challenged other districts to use strategic planning and other strategies to make it happen.
Strategic planning was the focus of the MSBA Fall Leadership Conference during which the Water Valley School District received the Lighthouse School Leader Award. Workshop presenter Doug McQueen, a consultant for leadership development at the University of Mississippi, urged school districts to take a business approach to strategic planning so that they can identify barriers that stand between “where you are and where you want to be” and develop a plan to overcome the obstacles.
The Mississippi School Boards Association (MSBA) is committed to ensuring quality school board performance through advocacy, technical assistance, leadership training and information dissemination. A nonprofit organization exclusively for school board members in the State of Mississippi, MSBA provides services in the belief that board members are better policy makers when they have proper information, skills and resources.