The only two National PTA Schools of Excellence for the 2017-2019 school years in the state of Tennessee, are right here in Hamilton County.
HCDE Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson noted what an amazing accomplishment this is. “We truly value the support of parents and community members here in Hamilton County,” Dr. Johnson said. “The PTA Schools of Excellence designations exemplify that incredible community support.”
Allen Elementary and Loftis Middle Schools both received the prestigious honor this week, beating out schools from all across the country.
Loftis PTA President Christy Carroll Highfill said, “We are very proud of this accomplishment and for Allen as well! This distinction from the National PTA is an example of what an amazing partnership between a PTA and school can accomplish.”
Loftis Principal Brent Eller agrees. “Loftis has an incredibly involved PTA,” Mr. Eller said. “They are very dedicated to partnering with the school in any way in an attempt to focus on the success of ALL students! To receive this recognition is a true honor and one that shows the effectiveness of the partnership between Loftis and our PTA community.”
Allen Elementary implements the National PTA Arts Program, partners with the Creative Discovery Museum, and uses PTA funding for the school’s Music Department xylophone set and May Pole.
Allen Elementary School Principal Earlene Weeks gives all the credit to her PTA family. “The support of the Soddy Daisy community means the world to our students and staff alike. The PTA’s devotion to Allen Elementary can be felt in every classroom and down every hallway.”
PTA President Nikki Blanchard said AES's PTA will continue to support Arts in Education. “We plan to start implementing Bulldog Friday Art Projects throughout the year, we will create a rock garden featuring student-created rocks in partnership with the library's MakerSapce initiative, and we will also match an ArtsBuild Grant to bring local artists to our kindergarten classrooms,” she said.
The Loftis Middle School PTA also stands out as one of the nationwide leaders in developing strong family-school partnerships. “We work closely with our very enthusiastic principal to focus on increasing family engagement to support student success. We wanted to be sure that every family felt welcome and encouraged to be a part of their child's education and experience at Loftis. We worked together to increase the individual feedback from each teacher to families as well as ensure that all of our families who do not speak English as their native language felt welcomed and encouraged to participate in their child's education,” Ms. Highfill said.
Schools that exhibit improvement are honored as National PTA Schools of Excellence, a distinction that spans two years.
Honorees receive celebration tools well as automatic consideration for the Phoebe Apperson Hearst award of $2000 for their schools. After two years, schools are able and encouraged to renew their designation.