A big surprise today as Everett’s Evergreen Middle School receives special Boeing award because of student achievement and community links. Here’s the press release from Everett Schools…
On May 29, 2012, Boeing surprised staff at Evergreen Middle School with the 10th and final John D. Warner Award for Excellence in Education. The unrestricted $25,000 grant honors the school community for its leadership and teacher excellence and for continuous student learning improvement.
Boeing also selected Evergreen because of its strong partnerships within the community and the school leadership’s commitment to improved student learning. Mr. Warner attended the surprise event and presented the award to Principal Larry Fleckenstein.
Superintendent Gary Cohn, who attended the presentation, was pleased that the award ceremony was a complete surprise to Fleckenstein and the Evergreen staff but not by the award itself. “While we were able to keep today’s award a secret until this morning, it is absolutely no secret that the work being done by Evergreen Middle School staff and its community is improving student learning. The formal and informal partnerships established in this school community coalesce around the needs of each child. How appropriate that one of the state’s highest profile partners, Boeing, is adding to this school’s support network with this gift of $25,000. We thank Boeing for its emphasis on quality education and for recognizing that quality at Evergreen Middle School.”
Everett’s Mayor Ray Stephanson was among the officials who surprised the Evergreen staff, as was School Board President Jeff Russell. Stephanson has a strong interest in the middle school as he was once an Evergreen student. “I have watched your work here over the years with great interest. It is so good to be back here today and among those honoring you for what you do for this community and for its young people.”
Evergreen Middle School is one of five middle schools in Everett Public Schools. Of its enrollment of approximately 1,050 students in grades six through eight, almost half qualify for free or reduced meals. Statistically a school with that percentage of low income families would struggle to continually improve student performance.
Contrary to statistical predictions, Evergreen has won awards because of continually increasing how well students do on state tests. As Cohn explains, “What’s notable for Evergreen is the combination of demographics AND student achievement – the fact that student achievement has improved so much over the same timeframe poverty has increased at Evergreen at a rate more than 50 percent higher than the district’s poverty rate growth. Also, the number of students not speaking English as their native language has doubled – again at a rate faster than that in the rest of the district. Evergreen Middle School received a School of Distinction Award in 2007 and Academic Achievement Award in 2010 and in 2011. Each of these Washington state awards is based upon student learning improvement consistently maintained over time.”
Boeing created the grant to honor John D. Warner, who retired as Boeing’s chief administrative officer in 2003 after a long and distinguished career with the company. The award recognizes Warner’s longtime and continuing dedication to reforming public education.
“Public middle schools in selected Puget Sound districts were invited to nominate a middle school, and nominations were judged based on the needs of the student population, student achievement within the last five years, community or parent involvement and school leadership,” said Liz Warman, director for Boeing Global Corporate Citizenship in the Northwest region.
Global Corporate Citizenship refers to the work that Boeing does in its diverse communities, both as a company and individual employees. The economic well-being of the Pacific Northwest region and the vibrancy of its communities are foundational components to the region’s long-term health and viability. Boeing plays a significant role in ensuring the Northwest Region provides for strong, vibrant communities through its support of arts and culture, civic, education, environment and health and human services needs. Last year, Boeing contributed more than $25 million to organizations in Northwest communities where employees work and live.