Thursday, April 26, 2012

In the Winners' Circle: Veazie Street Elementary, Hope High School, Classical, and Nathan Bishop

I said I'd back off from being PPSD"s Suzy Sunshine so this post may seem like a contradiction to my promise to hit harder and smarter. However, within the past two weeks, a handful of Providence Schools and educators have been named winners of various honors and awards, a nice collection that I want to celebrate. Here's what's gone down:

Susan Chin, RI Elementary Principal of the Year
The ProJo reports today that Susan Chin, principal of Veazie Street Elementary School in Providence, has been named 2012's Elementary School Principal of the year by the Rhode Island Association of School Principals. Kudos to Ms. Chin!

I wish I knew or could easily find more about Veazie Street Elementary. Its test scores have risen during the past few years, as you can see via the school's InfoWorks report. Beyond that, I've heard great things about the school generally and Ms. Chin's leadership in particular in a word on the street kind of way.

In 2008, Mike Lazzareschi, then the principal of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School, won the award. Prior to Lazzareschi's honor (which happened when I was PTO president at King), there had been no Providence principals who had received the award as far as we could determine. Now, two in five years.

Lisa Rose Bucci, Providence Teacher of the Year
On April 10, Lisa Rose Bucci, physics teacher at Hope High School, was named Providence's teacher of the year. The award had lain dormant for years - it's great that PPSD resurrected it and awarded to Ms. Bucci. Here's a write up from WPRI about Ms. Bucci and the teacher of the year honor. She sounds like an amazing educator.

Nathan Bishop Middle School and Classical High School, National Green Ribbon Schools 
On Monday, the United States Department of Education named Classical and Nathan Bishop Green Ribbon Schools to recognize their "comprehensive approach to creating "green" environments through reducing environmental impact, promoting health, and ensuring a high-quality environmental and outdoor education to prepare students with the 21st century skills and sustainability concepts needed in the growing global economy." Here's the full USDOE announcement. Bishop and Classical are Rhode Island's only representatives on the list of 78 schools in 29 states and Washington, DC.

What Bishop and Classical have done specifically to achieve Green Ribbon status, I don't know, but yay anyway!

Do all of these awards and honors mean good times for PPSD? Nope. But they're still the kind of thing worth celebrating even as we keep our eyes on the big prize of building a strong public school system that serves all students in all of our city's neighborhoods effectively and equitably.

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