Fifty-four school districts in south-central Missouri who met the criteria established by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for Distinction in Performance were recently honored by South Central Regional Professional Development Center. Districts who met the criteria received a certificate of recognition provided by the Missouri Association of School Administrators. The Laquey R-V School District was one of the districts in the South Central region who received this award.

The Distinction in Performance award is based on the district’s performance relative to student performance standards that are used to determine state accreditation through the Missouri School Improvement Program. In order to earn distinction in performance, districts must meet the majority of these performance standards at either a high or significantly improved level.

The awards were presented at the annual South Central Recognition Banquet on March 4 at the Havener Center on the Missouri University of Science and Technology campus. The event was sponsored and hosted by the South Central Regional Professional Development Center and the University. John Lewis, Director of South Central RPDC, presided at the banquet.

Dr. Larry Gragg, Interim Vice-Provost of Academic Affairs, brought greetings and congratulations on behalf of the University. Roger Kurtz, Executive Director of the Missouri Association of School Administrators, also brought greetings and congratulations to the districts that were recognized and assisted with the presentation of awards. Also assisting with the presentation of awards was Mike Wutke, South Central Area Supervisor, and De Frink-Hedglin, Federal Instructional Improvement Supervisor, both with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

In addition, South Central regional buildings who had previously been awarded for their exemplary implementation of the School Wide Positive Behavior Support and Professional Learning Communities initiatives were recognized. Included in this recognition was Wyman Elementary, Rolla 80 School District, Dr. Susan Bowles, Principal, for PBS implementation at the gold level. Also recognized for exemplary implementation of the PLC initiative were East Elementary, Hilary Bales, Principal, and Partridge Elementary, Dr. George Lauritson, Principal, both in the Waynesville R-VI School District.

The Doris Ridder Excellence in Teaching Award, a $500 award provided by the family of the late Dr. Doris Ridder, former Director of the South Central Regional Professional Development Center, was presented to Charlotte Parnell, a teacher in the Sullivan School District.

RPDC Director John Lewis stated, “With approximately 360 educators in attendance, this year’s event was a great success. South Central RPDC along with Missouri University of Science and Technology were pleased to sponsor and host this event, and extend our sincere congratulations to those regional districts and buildings receiving recognition.”