Southmoreland Middle School earns national recognition
Southmoreland Middle School has received national recognition.
The school was one of 10 in the country recently honored as a Breakthrough School through the National Association of Secondary School Principals, in conjunction with MetLife.
“I am honored to be a part of this district and the school,” said Vince Mascia, middle school principal. “It's just a great award and a testament to the hard work of our faculty and the quality of kids we have.”
The Breakthrough program was established in 2007 and recognizes middle schools and high schools that serve large numbers of students living in poverty and are displaying high-achieving or dramatically improving student achievement. At least 40 percent of the students must be eligible for free or reduced-price lunches.
“As poverty increases, schools are being called upon to do much more beyond academics. They're addressing student health needs, emotional needs, social needs,” said Josephine Franklin, associate director of research and informational resources for the group. “These are the people that have found a way, despite all the challenges, to have their students achieve consistently at high levels.”
Franklin said criteria for the award are based on a school's documented success in three core areas: collaborative leadership, personalization, and curriculum, instruction and assessment.
Mascia said students were told of the achievement Nov. 15.
“Kids were applauding. They were congratulating everyone,” Mascia said. “It's the recognition of a journey we've taken. ... It's been a long journey. It's appropriate and fitting. All the hard work is being recognized. We really are trying to provide the best education we can for our kids.”
Southmoreland was one of 154 schools across the country that applied for the award.
The middle school will receive a $5,000 grant. It will be profiled in the association's national magazine, honored at NASSP's national conference in Maryland Feb. 28-March 2 and featured on the association's website.
Representatives from the principals group visited the school Sept. 27 for an evaluation.
“Kids were approached and asked questions and they were very direct and genuine,” Mascia said. “It's something they're living and experiencing on a daily basis. That's one thing (representatives) were impressed with.”
Southmoreland Middle School is only the second Pennsylvania school to receive the honor and the first public school in the state to be recognized. Franklin Towne Charter High School in Philadelphia received the honor in 2010.
“We're proud to be one of 10 schools in the nation to receive such an honor,” said Southmoreland Superintendent John Molnar. “We can attribute this to collaborative culture established many years ago in that building. We have had very, very strong leaders in that building.
“The teachers deserve a lot of credit, the students deserve a lot of credit, the parents and families deserve a lot of credit. It's a great feather in the cap of the community and shows the value families place on education here.”
Paul Paterra is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Court in the Classroom program provides insight for Norwin High School students
- Excela center proposal worries residents of Hempfield neighborhood
- Police claim woman stabbed husband at their Jeannette business
- Mt. Pleasant Business District Authority picks officers
- Sale of former SCI Greensburg prison to advance despite lawmakers’ objections
- Latrobe police to form DUI task force
- Westmoreland County Courthouse, annex roofs will be given $665K fix
- Blaze rips through Salem house
- Updated Everson directory available at post office
- Baby sitter arraigned on assault charges; Hempfield woman high on heroin, state police say
- Unity lawyer to vie for Westmoreland County judgeship