Trousdale County Wins $25,000 District Award
Norman Smith, Frank P. Brown, Covington High Take Schools Honors, Awards of $10,000
Students from Covington, Nashville Win $500 Scholarships


(Nashville) – The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) announced the four winners of the 3rd annual SCORE Prize on Monday night. The winners – three schools and one school district in Tennessee – were recognized for dramatically improving student achievement.

The 2013 SCORE Prize winners are:

  • Norman Smith Elementary, a pre-kindergarten-grade 5 school in the Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools system, in the elementary school category.
  • Frank P. Brown Elementary, a pre-kindergarten-grade 8 school in the Cumberland County Schools system, in the middle school category.
  • Covington High, a grade 9-12 school in the Tipton County Schools system, in the high school category.
  • Trousdale County Schools, offering pre-kindergarten-grade 12 instruction, in the district category.

The prize event, attended by more than 1,000 educators, parents, students, and other stakeholders, was held at Laura Turner Concert Hall at Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville. Dr. Bill Frist, founder of SCORE and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader, was host for the event, and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and SCORE President and CEO Jamie Woodson delivered remarks. The district award was presented by Tennessee Commissioner of Education Kevin Huffman. The evening concluded with a performance by award-winning country artist Jo Dee Messina, a mother who supports Tennessee public schools and college- and career-readiness.

“Our Prize winners and finalists have shown that it is possible to prepare all of our students to be successful in college and the workforce,” Frist said. “The stories we heard from teachers, principals, district leaders, students, and other stakeholders are powerful. And they are proof points for what works.”

“We are fortunate to live in a state that is committed to doing whatever it takes to prepare our students for the future, and we are truly leading the nation in this work,” Woodson said. “We have seen leaders instill the belief that all children can and should achieve at high levels. We have seen teachers push students to think deeply, and we have seen students take ownership over their learning and hold all us accountable for preparing them for success. We have seen communities serve as active and engaged partners by providing the resources that connect what’s happening in classrooms to the world of work.”

Winners were selected from among the nine schools and three districts named as finalists in September based on data of their performance on state assessment measures. A selection team visited each of the finalists to see first-hand what these schools and districts are doing to produce outstanding growth in student achievement.

During the event, SCORE also awarded a $500 scholarship to the winner of the Students Rise to the Challenge video competition, Sarah Martin, a senior at Hillwood High School in the Metro Nashville Public Schools system. SCORE also awarded a $500 scholarship to the winner of the first Students Rise to the Challenge competition in 2012, Rolanda Mack, a senior at Covington High.

About the Winners

Norman Smith Elementary in Clarksville serves about 570 students. Although more than 77 percent of the students are economically disadvantaged, the school has narrowed the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program achievement gap between lower-income and higher-income students by 22 points in math and by 16 points in reading between 2011 and 2013. The school’s TCAP proficiency rates exceed the state averages by 8 points in reading, nearly 12 points in math, and more than 14 points in science.

Frank P. Brown Elementary in Crossville serves 470 students. It has achieved a particularly high performance in TCAP science with a three-year average of 84 percent of students rated proficient or advanced, compared with the state average of 60 percent.

Covington High in Covington has an enrollment of nearly 750 students and an outstanding graduation rate of 97 percent. On the Tennessee Value Added Assessment System, Covington High has achieved one of the highest Algebra I SCOREs in the state, with growth at 49.3.

Trousdale County Schools, northeast of Nashville, serves more than 1,200 students and has significantly narrowed the achievement gap in science between white students and African-American and Hispanic students. It also has shown notable growth on TVAAS in math and Biology I.

The Students Rise to the Challenge competition invited students from across Tennessee to tell video stories about innovation happening in their schools that has made them excited about learning. Semi-finalists were chosen by a selection committee, and finalists were selected through a Facebook poll. The winner was picked after an interview process with SCORE staff. Sarah’s video and speech at the SCORE Prize event described how her school debate team made her a better student by helping her overcome challenges with her speech, gain confidence, and develop research skills.

The other schools and districts that were finalists for the 2013 SCORE Prize were:

  • McPheeter’s Bend Elementary (Hawkins County Schools).
  • Mt. Carmel Elementary (Hawkins County Schools).
  • Freedom Preparatory Academy (Memphis City Schools).
  • Rose Park Math and Science Magnet (Metro Nashville Public Schools).
  • Maryville High School (Maryville City Schools).
  • Oak Ridge High School (Oak Ridge City Schools).
  • Greeneville City Schools.
  • Kingsport City Schools.

The other finalists for the student competition were Alexis Bradby, a senior at Maryville High School (Maryville City Schools) and Jo-Nyla Walker, a fifth-grader at Germanshire Elementary (Shelby County Schools).

In the coming weeks, SCORE will release videos and in-depth case studies of all 12 SCORE Prize finalists. This work will be used throughout the year to highlight best practices in improving public education in Tennessee.

To learn more about the 2013 winners and finalists or the Prize selection process, visit the SCORE Prize website.

The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) collaboratively supports Tennessee’s work to prepare students for college and the workforce. We are an independent, non-profit, and non-partisan advocacy and research institution, founded by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.