Bethel Middle School receives annual statewide honor

By Jessica M. Norris

Communications Director, Bryant School District

The Board of Directors of the Arkansas Association of Middle Level Education (AAMLE) has awarded the 2009 Shannon Wright Award to Bethel Middle School of the Bryant Public School District. The award is presented each year to a distinguished middle level program in Arkansas during the AAMLE Annual Conference. This year’s presentation was held in October at the Peabody Hotel in Little Rock.[more]   

In response to the award, Joe Fisher, BeMS Principal, stated, "We are pleased that AAMLE has recognized our work in Bryant. Our staff, students, parents, and community members truly deserve this honor for their efforts in helping to make Bethel Middle School a great environment for teaching and learning. Since opening Bethel Middle School in 2006, we have focused on continually improving our lesson planning, instructional practices, student assessments, and parental and community involvement.” The award includes a $2,500 cash prize from AAMLE to be used by the school to further promote the development of a high performing, standards-based middle level program. Bethel staff intends to use the funds for student incentive activities throughout the year.

The Shannon Wright Award has recognized one exemplary middle level program in Arkansas each year since its inception in 1999. Middle level is defined as a school that serves students in any grade configuration that includes any of levels 5-8. The award is presented to a school that demonstrates outstanding achievement in the implementation of the best middle level practices as outlined in the report Turning Points: Preparing American Youth for the 21st Century. Performance of the school in relation to the Smart Step Initiative was also an integral consideration.

The award derives its name from Shannon Wright, a middle school teacher, who died in the tragic Westside Middle School shooting incident in March, 1998.

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