Social Studies teacher Meghan Hanson-Peters talks to her world history class Wednesday afternoon at Steamboat Springs High School. The high school and Steamboat Springs Middle School are recipients of the John Irwin Schools of Excellence award that recognizes the top 8 percent of public schools that demonstrate the highest achievement on statewide assessments.

Photo by John F. Russell

Social Studies teacher Meghan Hanson-Peters talks to her world history class Wednesday afternoon at Steamboat Springs High School. The high school and Steamboat Springs Middle School are recipients of the John Irwin Schools of Excellence award that recognizes the top 8 percent of public schools that demonstrate the highest achievement on statewide assessments.

Steamboat high school, middle school recognized with state achievement award

Local schools earn awards of excellence

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To see a complete list of John Irwin Schools of Excellence recipients, visit www.cde.state.co.us/cdeawards/johnirwin.htm.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated from its original version, to clarify Kady Dodds' description of the basis of Schools of Excellence awards.

Steamboat Springs High School Principal Kevin Taulman said he was proud to make a special announcement to his staff Wednesday morning.

He told the group that the Colorado Department of Education recognized the high school Tuesday with a John Irwin Schools of Excellence award. The award also was given to Steamboat Springs Middle School.

The award, given to 151 Colorado public schools this year, honors the top 8 percent of schools whose students perform at the highest levels on Colorado State Assessment Program tests.

“I think it says what I’ve been saying for a long time,” Taulman said. “We can do everything we want to do. We can add any program we want to add. We can do this and that. But our staff is what makes students do well. I think that’s been proven in education. It’s the people on staff who make the most difference in education.”

High school French teacher Babette Dickson called the award and the praise given to the district’s teachers “flattering.” Dickson, who also is president of the Steamboat Springs Education Association, the district’s teachers union, said that recognition reflected the passion and dedication of the teachers.

Dickson added that the relationships between faculty, staff and the district’s leadership have created the environment to best educate students.

“The way we work and the culture that we have in our schools, all the teachers, it’s like a family,” she said. “We pretty much know each other. We try to be as supportive as we can with each other. For us to receive support from the parents, the administration and the community, I think we’re really valued for what we do.”

Kady Dodds, senior policy associate for the Colorado Department of Education, said Schools of Excellence awards are based on an academic achievement framework that measures a school's percentage of students who score proficient or advanced on CSAP math and reading tests.

Steamboat Springs Middle School Principal Tim Bishop said he was caught off guard by the award. He also praised the community and said the award wouldn’t be possible without the middle school’s talented staff members, who develop relationships with students and push them to succeed. He said the students work hard for teachers and it shows.

“I think that translates to students wanting to do well on these student assessments,” he said. “If they don’t take any stock in these assessments, they can just blow them off.”

Comments

stillinsteamboat 3 years ago

I wish the Pilot reporters would take some time to visit the other schools in the Yampa Valley. Steamboat is not the only district with dedicated staff and student body. Although after reading the Today you would think so.

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JusWondering 3 years ago

I don't know I seem to remember reading an article on Monday(?) praising SoRoCo's progress on CSAP score improvement. I also seem to remember several stories earlier this month on Hayden Girls' basketball achievements. They're smaller districts... less happens. This award is actually a big deal.

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Brent Boyer 3 years ago

stillinsteamboat: As Routt County's newspaper, we believe all parts of the county are worthy of coverage. That includes schools.

This story appeared on the front page of Monday's paper: http://www.steamboattoday.com/news/2011/mar/21/soroco-lauded-student-progress/

Here's a selection of other school-related stories from Hayden and South Routt that have appeared in the Pilot & Today in just the past week:

http://www.steamboattoday.com/news/2011/mar/23/soroco-track-strong-season-opener/

http://www.steamboattoday.com/news/2011/mar/18/district-consolidation-questioned-south-routt-scho/

http://www.steamboattoday.com/news/2011/mar/21/hayden-track-team-starts-season/

http://www.steamboattoday.com/news/2011/mar/17/hayden-school-board-oks-administrative-salaries/

We're always appreciative of story tips and suggestions, so please don't hesitate to pass any ideas our way.

Thanks for reading,

Brent Boyer Editor Steamboat Pilot & Today 970-871-4221 bboyer@SteamboatToday.com

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stillinsteamboat 3 years ago

Thanks Brent, but I am not talking about sports and school board articles.

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