State awards reinforce our school district’s reputation | Mukilteo Schools

By Dr. Marci Larsen, Superintendent | May 10, 2017

I had the tremendous pleasure of joining some of our teachers and principals at a ceremony last week down in Auburn where 280 schools were recognized with the Washington Achievement Award, which is the highest honor that can be given to a school in this state.

I was there because three of those award-winning schools – Endeavour, Odyssey, and Mukilteo elementary schools – are part of our school district.

Getting the recognition is nothing new for us, frankly. Since the Washington Achievement Award was first presented in 2009, 11 of our schools have collected a total of 35 of the awards. It’s always a thrill to be recognized for the outstanding work that is going on in our classrooms.

The awards are currently given based on statewide assessment data for the previous three years using a tool called the Washington State Achievement Index. That index is used to measure student proficiency in math, English/language arts, science, student growth, participation, and college and career readiness, and is now the only statewide school accountability system.

Both Endeavour and Mukilteo elementary schools were awarded the Washington Achievement Award for high progress. Odyssey was one of only four schools in the entire state to receive five awards: overall excellence, special recognition in math, special recognition in English/language arts, and growth, in addition to receiving an award for closing the achievement gap.

Odyssey has now been recognized for overall excellence seven years in a row.

The residents of this community should be very proud of the performance of our schools. In addition to winning Academic Achievement Awards, many of our schools rank quite highly in student performance. The students at almost all of our schools, when measured against those at schools with similar demographic factors, continually show academic performance that is among the best in the state.

The success of our schools is a product of excellent teaching, coupled with an effective partnership with families and support from the community. This is an appropriate time to recognize the importance of teaching because this is Teacher Appreciation Week here in Washington and throughout most of the United States.

Teachers provide such an important service for our community. They help connect our children to the world around them, give them the basic skills they will need to be successful in life and at work, and help them learn the importance of realizing high expectations and taking the steps necessary to fulfill their goals.

We are in a position here in the Mukilteo School District to attract some of the best and brightest teachers available to work with the children in our classrooms. Our efforts to find those talented educators have even led promising young graduates at colleges and universities from other parts of the nation to decide to come work for us.

We recently received an application from a person who attended our schools from childhood to graduation. She told us that our school district is the place where she developed her strength, character and passion for learning, and that she would love the opportunity to help provide the same inspiration and opportunities to others. And, yes, we did hire her.

With the talented teachers that we have and will continue to attract to our school district, I’m certain there will be many additional state awards in our future.

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