Teachers get gold star
May 16, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (May 16, 2013) -- Teacher Appreciation Day did not go unnoticed this year as the garrison commander and his team gathered May 8 to celebrate the accreditation of both Fort Rucker schools.
Fort Rucker Primary and Fort Rucker Elementary Schools received excellent marks on their accreditation, which is conducted every five years, with both schools receiving threes and fours on a four-point scale, said Deborah Deas, principal of the primary school.
"AdvancED Accreditation is the premier accreditation agency in the world and [Department of Defense Education Activity] schools have to follow a set of standards set by it. It is very rigorous and standards go into five areas. We scored exceptionally high in all five standards," she said.
The five AdvancED Accreditation standards of excellence in school improvement are purpose and direction, governance and leadership, teaching and learning, resources and support, and using results for continuous school improvement.
In celebration of the achievement, the Fort Rucker garrison command team held a small ceremony to recognize and show appreciation to both schools' hard work.
"Recently, Fort Rucker was honored with winning the Army Community of Excellence Gold award," said Col. Stuart J. McRae, Fort Rucker garrison commander. "We could not have done that without the excellent performance of you guys."
The scores both schools received are rare for any school let alone two at the same installation, said McRae, addressing teachers and staff.
The external review was held April 15 and 22, and officials had nothing but good things to say about the schools.
"A team of four people came in, and using rubrics and standards [they] analyzed what they saw. They also talked to all of our teachers, staff, the school board, parents of students and students," said the primary school principal.
The celebration was held at the Corvias Military Housing facility where both school teams were presented with a certificate of appreciation from the garrison command team for exceeding all standards.
"Our children are the most valuable assets that we have and you guys take superb care of them," said McRae. "Our message is that we do everything as a team. From us to you guys, we could not be prouder of what you have accomplished."
Deas said the ceremony was the first time the garrison has ever recognized them in this manner in her 25 years at Fort Rucker.
"We are thrilled [the garrison team] has [acknowledged us] because we did this as a team unit. We are thrilled to be model school and we hope that this encourages everyone to live on post so their children can attend our schools," she said.
Command Sgt. Maj. Buford E. Noland has two children enrolled in Fort Rucker schools and said that both institutions are exceptional.
"We chose to live on post so our children could go to these schools. [I] am very involved in the schools and I have never seen anything that was not above the standards. We are very impressed. The people here care and they are involved. They are great people," he said.
Superintendent Christy Cabezas attended the ceremony and said that Fort Rucker schools can now help other schools improve in areas that they are weak or struggling in where Fort Rucker schools are strong.
"This shows the community the dedication that the parents have put into volunteering, the partners that come in and help our schools and the support of the garrison. We take pride in educating our students socially, emotionally and academically," she said.
Cabezas continued by saying this accreditation will make a difference in the lives of the students because the schools will continue on the path of excellence.
"It means a lot to me that the garrison command team has reached out to show how they appreciate all that the schools do," she said. "Teachers touch the lives of their students and the garrison team touched the hearts of the teachers and staff today with this celebration, and the command has done that."