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Middlesex School System’s workforce development plan earns national honor

Middlesex School Superintendent Dr. Thomas Taylor (back, center) and members of the Middlesex School Board, from left, Elliott Reed, Claudia Soucek, Jim Goforth, Dr. Richard Shores and board chair Garland Harrow.

by Larry Chowning

Middlesex County Public Schools (MCPS) is one of eight Virginia School Divisions to be nationally recognized by the National School Board Association (NSBA) and the American School Board Journal (ASBJ) for excellence in leadership through the Magna Award Program.

Middlesex is the only school division in the state with an enrollment under 5,000 to receive an award. The Magna Awards recognize school boards across the country for outstanding programs that advance student learning and encourage community involvement in schools.

Nationally, Middlesex is one of only 33 school systems to be recognized for its leadership and public service.

The county school board received an honorable mention for its “Navigation 2020: A Strategic Plan for Workforce Development” for school divisions with an enrollment of under 5,000. 

The strategic plan “Navigation 2020,” actively supports student workforce readiness, making sure students know basic skills in landing a job. “The board is acutely aware of pressures to de-fund and withdraw support from public education; instead of embracing a downward spiral, the board chose to embrace preparing our students to become peerless in their workforce preparation,” said Middlesex Superintendent of Schools Dr. Thomas W. Taylor.

“The Magna Awards showcase great programs that are taking place throughout the country under the strong leadership of school board members,” said Gina G. Patterson, executive director of the Virginia School Boards Association. “It is particularly exciting that Virginia had more divisions recognized than any other state in the nation.”

The 2014 winners will be highlighted in a special section in the March/April issue of ASBJ, and formally recognized on Saturday, April 5, at the Best Practices for School Leaders Luncheon in New Orleans, Louisiana, which is part of NSBA’s 74th Annual Conference. School board member Jim Goforth will represent the board in accepting this recognition.

The other Virginia schools to receive awards were Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Arlington County Public Schools, Newport News City Schools, Frederick County Schools, Harrisonburg City School, Danville City Schools, and Spotsylvania County Schools.

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 03.12.2014

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