Dear Friends,

All over Tennessee, schools and districts are rising to the challenge of preparing all students for success after high school. The hard work of our educators, parents, community members, and students has helped Tennessee become the fastest-improving state in the nation for student achievement.

Each year, SCORE celebrates the accomplishments of educators and students by awarding the SCORE Prize to the elementary school, middle school, high school, and school district that have demonstrated they are leaders in student learning. The 2014 finalists include urban, suburban, and rural schools from East, Middle, and West Tennessee, yet they all have a commitment to helping their students grow academically every year.

Why is the SCORE Prize important?

Governor Bill Haslam pointed out at the 2013 SCORE Prize event that no other state has this kind of program of recognition to reward schools and school districts for their student-focused work. The SCORE Prize finalists and winners are selected through an intensive, data-driven process that takes into account everything from state assessment results and growth to graduation and college-going rates. (Learn more about the selection process by watching this animated video.)

SP Finalist Badge 9-2014

Leaders of the school district finalists have a clear idea about why the SCORE Prize is special.

“The SCORE Prize exemplifies success, which is why we’re drawn to it,” says Dr. Mike Winstead, director of Maryville City Schools. “SCORE focuses on what we focus on: continuous improvement. We’re already a good school system, and we’re trying to get better.”

“Being recognized as a SCORE Prize finalist for the second consecutive year speaks strongly to the great work being done by the teachers and staff throughout KCS,” says Kingsport City Schools Superintendent Dr. Lyle Ailshie. “Their commitment to a vision of excellence leads our students and community to great academic results.”

Dr. Mike Looney, superintendent of Williamson County Schools, also gives credit to the teamwork that lies behind being named a finalist. “I am so proud of our schools and district as a whole for being recognized as leaders in the state,” he says. “I look forward to the continuation of that hard work and success in preparing WCS students for the future.”

You are invited to help celebrate the success of these phenomenal schools, districts, and communities at the fourth annual SCORE Prize event on October 27. Senator Bill Frist, chairman and founder of SCORE, will be our emcee for the evening, and country artist Dustin Lynch will perform. Tickets are free, but seating is limited so please reserve your seat now.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Very truly yours,

Jamie Signature 4-2014