Ingleside Honored for Performance

Ingleside Honored for Performance
March 12, 2014 Wednesday
BYLINE: Greg Moses

Ingleside Elementary School and its teachers have great “promise” when it comes to improving student performance. They have the plaque to prove it.

Ingleside was named one of four schools nationwide to receive the TAP School of Promise Award over the weekend during the TAP (Teacher Advancement Program) National Conference in Los Angeles. The award, which included a $5,000 cash prize, honors TAP schools for their demonstrated efforts in the early implementation stages of TAP, an educator effectiveness model that aligns career advancement, professional development, and evaluation with performance-based compensation.

“Novice and veteran educators alike at Ingleside Elementary have embraced TAP as a growth model for all teachers and students,” said Dr. Gary Stark, president and CEO of the National Institute for Effectiveness in Teaching, which manages the TAP program. “The TAP Leadership Team is well-poised for the future ahead, and I look forward to following Ingleside’s progress.”

Adopting TAP in 2012 and beginning the first full year of implementation in the fall of 2013, Ingleside has focused on improving learning by tailoring weekly professional development to specific needs, creating leadership roles of master and mentor teachers to provide aid to other educators, implementing TAP’s teacher support and evaluation with rigor, and instituting a competitive compensation system to reward educators for increased skill and student performance, according to a press release about the award.

“With TAP,” noted Ingleside Principal Debbie Harrison, “I have found a way for my staff to consistently be involved in and supported by professional development that is directly aligned to the needs of our school.”

Ingleside was one of only four schools nationwide – and the only elementary school – to receive the award. Two schools in Texas and another in Iowa also received the honors.

“Several of the honorees were in their second year of implementation, while we’re in our first,” Harrison noted.

During Monday’s Athens School Board meeting, three members of Ingleside’s TAP leadership team who accepted the award at the conference – Harrison as principal, along with master teacher Beth Caulfield and mentor teacher Joyce Duncan -said the award is both a tribute to Ingleside’s teachers and the entire Athens City School System.

“Our teachers and staff deserve full credit,” Harrison said. “They’re so dedicated to the students. They’re in there every day making the changes needed to have a positive impact on our students’ lives.”

“The teachers at other schools in our system are working just as hard and are doing great work with TAP,” Duncan added. “It’s an honor for the entire Athens City School System.”

This is the second national TAP honor in as many months for Athens City Schools. In February, Athens City Middle School master teacher Kevin Winters was honored with a Milken Educator Award.