2015 SCORE Prize Winners: Trousdale, Delano, New Vision, Soulsville

The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) has announced the winners of the fifth annual SCORE Prize, which honors Tennessee public schools and school districts with student achievement results that make them leaders in learning in the state.

The 2015 SCORE Prize winners are:

•  Delano Optional School, a technology focus school in Shelby County Schools, in the elementary school category.

•  New Vision Academy, a public charter school in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, in the middle school category.

•  The Soulsville Charter School, a public charter school in Shelby County Schools, in the high school category.

•  Trousdale County Schools in Middle Tennessee in the district category.

SP TrophyThe SCORE Prize awards $10,000 to each of the school winners and $25,000 to the district winner.

The SCORE Prize event, with an audience of nearly 1,500 at Schermerhorn Symphony Center, was hosted by Senator Bill Frist, M.D., the founder and chairman of SCORE. “Everyone in Tennessee is proud of how our educators are leading our students to greater success. For five years, SCORE Prize has been celebrating the teachers, school leaders, parents, community members and students who are rising to the challenge and achieving more,” Frist said.

“The SCORE Prize winners and finalists demonstrate that success is possible in settings as diverse as our state — rural, urban, and suburban; large and small; magnet, charter, and traditional public schools,” SCORE President and CEO Jamie Woodson said. “The true winners are the students who are seeing academic success because their teachers and school leaders hold high expectations, while their parents, families, and communities support them.”

The SCORE Prize event also recognized an elementary student from Anderson County, a middle school student from Johnson City, and a high school student from Tipton County who won Students Rise to the Challenge (SRTTC) scholarships worth $1,000 by submitting essay or video entries that described how one of their teachers helped them overcome an academics challenge.

Nine schools and three districts were selected as SCORE Prize finalists after selection committee members examined and discussed a rigorous analysis of student achievement data. The winners were decided following site visits to each school and district. “All SCORE Prize finalists are doing outstanding work for students, and there is so much to learn from each of them,” Woodson said. “An important part of SCORE Prize is illuminating the finalists and their exemplary student-focused strategies so other schools and districts can see innovative approaches to better preparing all students for success after high school.”

About the Winners

Delano Elementary is a technology option school in Memphis with approximately 225 students in grades K-5. Delano students have made strong gains in math and science over the past three years and score well above the state average in both math and science.

New Vision Academy is a public charter school in Nashville with about 125 students in grades 5-8. New Vision has experienced strong gains over the past three years across reading, math, and science. Student scores in science are more than 10 points above the state average.

The Soulsville Charter School is a public charter school in Memphis with about 340 students in grades 9-12. Its students have made noteworthy gains in Algebra I and II as well as strong gains in English II and Biology over the past three years. Almost 80 percent of students have gone on to college over the past three years.

Trousdale County Schools is a district of nearly 1,300 students at three schools in rural Middle Tennessee. The district’s three-year average graduation rate is 97 percent, and over the past three years it has outperformed the state by roughly 20 points in grades 3-8 math and Algebra I and II. Trousdale also won the district SCORE Prize in 2013.

Weston Downing, a 12th-grade student at Covington High School in Tipton County Schools, created a video about the coaching his teacher, Melissa Barrell, provided to help him raise his math ACT score by 5 points.

Yeleeya Li, a sixth-grade student at Indian Trail Intermediate School in Johnson City Schools, composed a poem about how her teacher, Becky Honeycutt, helped her better understand math.

Nicholas Reynolds, a fifth-grade student at Andersonville Elementary in Anderson County Schools, wrote an essay about how his teacher, Pam McCrary, challenged him to learn more advanced math.

The teachers who inspired or helped with the winning SRTTC entries each received a $250 Donors Choose gift card.

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The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the goal that every student in Tennessee graduates from high school prepared for postsecondary education and the work force. SCORE was founded by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, MD, and it drives collaboration across the state on policy and practice to ensure student success. We believe that we can achieve our goals for Tennessee’s students by empowering people to lead change on behalf of students, insisting on high expectations for what students can achieve, and fostering a culture of innovation.

The SCORE Sheet is the online conversation on public education reform in Tennessee and is hosted by SCORE. The blog mirrors SCORE’s collaborative nature and features contributors from Tennessee and across the country including students, parents, teachers, policymakers, community groups, and members of SCORE’s team. Regardless of perspective, contributors share a common goal: that every child graduates from high school prepared for college or the workforce.

Posts on The SCORE Sheet are the opinions of the individual contributors and are not necessarily reflective of the opinions and positions of the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE).