Three middle schools in Scott and Floyd counties all share one goal...high student achievement. They approach their goal in different ways, but the effect is the same. Students are learning, and I saw evidence of it when I visited their schools.
Highland Hills Middle School in Floyd County, Indiana, has an unofficial slogan. They call themselves the GMS on the P. I asked Dawn Boling, top 10 finalist for 2015 Indiana Teacher of the Year, what that meant, and she said, "Greatest middle school on the planet."
This was not the usual educational hype and spin. In Elizabeth Murphy's room (above left) and in Doug Elmore's class (above right), I saw students actively engaged in
My visit to Hazelwood Middle School held some nostalgia for me. When I attended, it was Hazelwood Junior High, grades 7-9. Now it is a middle school of grades 5-8. Much had changed thanks to physical renovations, and we were fortunate to have Jessica Waters, the Bullpup principal, to guide us.
What I noticed in classes like Ms. Thurston's ELA/Social Studies room (above, left) was light and enthusiasm. Our visit was late on a Friday, shortly before dismissal, yet whether they were in the classroom or in the gym, these students kept their focus on where their teachers were leading them.
Three different middle schools, one goal. More than any data chart could show, these schools contain life, and that life is flourishing in Scott and Floyd counties.