Solution Tree, an educational publisher and professional development provider, has announced Fern Creek High School as the winner of the second annual DuFour Award.
Named in honor of Dr. Richard DuFour, the award was created to honor high-performing schools that demonstrate exceptional levels of student achievement. In a career that spanned four decades, Dr. DuFour was a teacher, principal, superintendent, and champion of the Professional Learning Communities at Work™ process. His advocacy and tireless dedication to school improvement led to the founding of the DuFour Award in 2016.
Fern Creek High School was recognized during the Summit on PLC at Work™, which took place in Phoenix, Ariz., February 22-24, 2017. During the ceremony, Solution Tree presented the school with a check for $25,000.
“Fern Creek was a finalist for the first annual DuFour Award last year,” said Solution Tree’s CEO, Jeffrey C. Jones. “Through hard work and persistence, they were able to take it to the next level and earn the top honor this year. I’m delighted to honor their commitment to continuous school improvement.”
Fern Creek’s application included an essay and short video detailing the school’s dedication to the professional learning community process, improving student learning, and advancing instructional best practices.
“Fern Creek High School’s turnaround story is grounded in our commitment and fidelity to professional learning communities,” said Principal Nathan Meyer. “The workshops and institutes led by Rick DuFour that we attended when we were first identified as a Priority School in 2010 galvanized us and strengthened our resolve to improve student learning. Rick DuFour publicly recognizing our school’s work during the past year has been an incredible honor for our entire staff. This award becomes a tangible representation of our teachers’ commitment to the three big ideas of a PLC, centered on student learning, professional collaboration, and being results driven.”
DuFour Award Committee chairman Thomas W. Many said, “Along with a litany of impressive statistics, the school has expanded access to more rigorous curriculum, disrupted inequity, and expanded opportunities for college and career readiness all while improving their ranking in the state from the 10th to the 87th percentile in academic achievement.”