By Nathan Straus
Jacksonville Independent School District officials were thrilled to receive a notice Friday, the last day before the district’s two-week break, that Nichols Intermediate School and Jacksonville High School had both received prestigious honors.
Dr. Joe Wardell, district superintendent, said Nichols was recognized by the National Center for Education Achievement and the high school was awarded a $1,500 Tech Prep award.
“It’s a tremendous honor,” Wardell said. “Another national award just helps to show JISD staff and kids are doing a great job being recognized for high achievement.”
He said Nichols’ award puts it in the top 5 percent of over 8,000 Texas schools. With West Side and Fred Douglass elementaries both nominated for Blue Ribbon honors, the honor makes three of JISD’s seven campuses nationally recognized schools.
Judy Terry, assistant superintendent of instruction and curriculum, said the intermediate school won recognition for its math scores based over several years.
“They look at schools which continue to grow and pick the ones with the best practices,” Terry said.
She said Nichols Intermediate will appear on the NCEA Web site.
Wardell said the Tech Prep award, given by the East Texas Tech Prep Consortium, will be used to allow students to visit various technical programs at East Texas community colleges. He said there will be a meeting, including the school’s technical director, Hedda Alexander, and Tammy Jones, the high school principal, to decide how to best use the money.
According to the ETTPC Web site, the mission of the consortium is to serve and be recognized as the catalyst for change that provides curricular support to prepare a diverse and high-performance workforce.
Terry said the grant will allow children to go to a selection of community colleges in the East Texas region. The ETTPC site lists five colleges with Tech Prep program articulation agreements. These are Tyler Junior College, Texas State Technical College in Marshall, Trinity Valley Community College, Panola College and Kilgore College.
“One of the goals is for kids in career and tech to come out with some kind of certification, Terry said.
She said the children will then be able to go into a career and technical field at a community college right out of high school.
By Nathan Straus
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