Marked Tree School District racks up awards

Friday, June 24, 2016
MTHS Principal Matt Wright received a plaque for completing phase three of the Master Principal Institute this year. (DT Photo/Corey Clairday)

For the last few years, the Marked Tree School District has received several awards for outstanding educational performance from the Office for Education Policy. This year is no different as High School Principal Matt Wright informed the Marked Tree School Board this week the district has racked up 12 OEP awards for the 2015-2016 school year.

Marked Tree was recognized as a school that was "Beating the Odds" in several areas. OEP awards included:

*Included in the top five high performing high poverty middle school math programs in Northeast Arkansas.

*Third highest performing high poverty high school math program in the state.

*Ranked number one as the highest performing high poverty high school math program in Northeast Arkansas.

*Included in the top ten high performing high poverty middle schools in literacy in the state.

*Second ranked high performing high poverty middle school in Northeast Arkansas.

*Included in the top five highest performing high poverty high schools in the state.

*Third ranked high performing high poverty high school in Northeast Arkansas.

Marked Tree High School was designated as a high achieving/high performing high school and included in the following OEP award lists:

*Top 20 high schools in the state (ranked 14th).

*Top five high schools in Northeast Arkansas (ranked ranked third).

*Top five math programs in Northeast Arkansas (ranked third).

*Top five percent for growth in Biology End-of-Course scores.

*Top five percent for student growth at the middle school.

"We aren't beating the odds, we're defying them," Wright said.

Wright himself was also recognized during the board meeting for an accomplishment as high school principal. For the past three years, from 2013-2016, Wright has participated in the Master Principal Institute, which is run by the Arkansas Leadership Academy. This year, Wright participated in the third and final phase of the program.

According to Superintendent Annesa Thompson, the leadership academy has rigorous application requirements which increase in complexity each year. Wright said the project he turned in for his last application was 40 pages long. The program lasts for around 8-10 days each year with ten hour days of professional development to expand the knowledge base and leadership skills of public school principals.

Wright was one of six principals accepted into this year's program. "Not many principals in Arkansas have accomplished this," Thompson said.

Other Poinsett County schools that won OEP awards for this school year included:

*Trumann Intermediate--third highest performing high poverty middle school math program in Northeast Arkansas and and fifth highest performing high poverty middle school literacy program in Northeast Arkansas.

*EPC High School--fifth highest performing high poverty high school literacy program in Northeast Arkansas.

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