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Middle school earns Lighthouse Award

Mount Airy Middle School was recently rewarded with the 2020 Lighthouse School Award by the North Carolina Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. The school was one of just four across North Carolina to received the award.

“The Lighthouse School Award is presented annually to one or more North Carolina schools that have innovatively and creatively increased achievement for students,” the Mount Airy City Schools said in announcing the recognition.

Principal Olivia Sikes, Assistant Principal Levi Goins, Chief Officer of Academics and Human Resources Dr. Phillip Brown, teacher and former School Improvement Team Chair Tarona Hollingsworth, as well as teacher and SIT Chair Beth Lowry were on hand to receive the award during a ceremony in Pinehurst on Friday.

“The prestigious Lighthouse School Award is presented to one or more schools leading the way in North Carolina for excellence in student achievement and innovative programs,” the association’s Executive Director Dr. Lillie Cox said. “North Carolina Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development receives nominations from across the state each year and is proud to recognize only the most impressive schools with this award. We are pleased to present this award to Mount Airy Middle School this year for their accomplishments and dedication to continuous improvement on behalf of their students.”

“Mount Airy Middle School represents the district’s motto of Lead-Innovate-Serve as educators intentionally structure learning for their 400 students,” the city school said. “While the school maintains its Title 1 status, educators and school leaders strive to ensure every child has needs met and barriers removed to meet goals set. Through this work, educators and school leaders from across the state make trips to visit the innovation and learning in action.”

Over the past few years, school officials said student demographics have increased to include 22% Hispanic students. “The school has embraced all students and worked to increase understanding of the variety of cultures learning at Mount Airy Middle School while also putting additional supports in place to help each child succeed,” the local school system said in its statement. “As a result, Mount Airy Middle School surpassed goals and earned ‘exceeded growth’ status while also achieving a ‘B school’ grade on its state report card. The overall proficiencies moved the school to the top 12% of middle schools in the state. Mount Airy Middle School also placed in the top 5% for all middle schools for growth.”

The Lighthouse Award also recognizes recipients as having a school with what the organization called a healthy climate and strong community partnerships.

“Mount Airy Middle School serves as a community hub where local groups and parents can be found collaborating with school staff to positively impact students,” local officials said in the school’s announcement. “The district holds Innovation Days and staff members reach out to community and business leaders, inviting them to share their expertise with students. In the most recent Innovation Day, students learned from agriculture experts, a drone pilot, and a medical tool engineer, and much more. This day allows students to explore their interests and learn more about their community and its members.

“The school provides access to its facilities and ball fields for Mount Airy Parks and Recreation which allows more children the opportunity to compete athletically. Additionally, a grant has allowed for the hiring of a career development coordinator who brings in experts from industry that present during a Career Cafe lunchtime. This exposes middle school students to all the careers in the area and provides students an opportunity to learn more about future careers.”

“Mount Airy Middle School strives to provide a personalized and innovative educational experience for each student,” Principal Olivia Sikes said. “Through our focus on student choice, career exploration, and high academic standards, Mount Airy Middle School provides multiple opportunities for engagement. We pride ourselves in student growth and value the contributions of all stakeholders who work together to enrich learning opportunities each day.”

“We are excited that NCASCD has given Mount Airy Middle School this prestigious award,” Superintendent Dr. Kim Morrison said. “We are proud of the hard work of the students, staff, and administrators. NCASCD is a proven organization for excellence in teaching and learning. Mount Airy Middle School is among the top middle schools in the state for academics and innovation. Receiving the 2020 NCASCD Lighthouse Award recognizes the efforts of the school highlighting Mount Airy Middle School as among the best in the state and nation.”

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Those who were on hand to accept the Lighthouse Award for Mount Airy Middle School include, from left, Chief Officer of Academics and Human Resources Dr. Phillip Brown, Mount Airy Middle School Principal Olivia Sikes, Assistant Principal Levi Goins, Educator Beth Lowry, and Educator Tarona Hollingworth.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/web1_IMG_9997.jpegThose who were on hand to accept the Lighthouse Award for Mount Airy Middle School include, from left, Chief Officer of Academics and Human Resources Dr. Phillip Brown, Mount Airy Middle School Principal Olivia Sikes, Assistant Principal Levi Goins, Educator Beth Lowry, and Educator Tarona Hollingworth.

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Source: https://www.mtairynews.com

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