Submitted by Pamela Hensel, RSD #17.
(Dec. 5, 2018) — In early November, representatives from Haddam Killingworth High School were invited to attend the National Blue Ribbon Award Ceremony in Washington, DC. Recognized as an Exemplary High Performing School, HKHS exceeds expectations in graduation rate and student performance on standardized test scores all while offering a highly personalized school experience. An excerpt from the ceremony program reads:
“Haddam Killingworth High School provides extensive opportunities to students while nurturing and supporting them within a familial learning environment. We offer 27 courses for college credit, with most students completing a post-secondary endeavor before they graduate. We are proud of a variety of instructional arrangements including traditional, online, internship, independent study and a new blended learning initiative. We personalize the student experience and supports across both the academic and social-emotional domains. Student voice is developed and honored – in the classroom, through direct advisory relationships with school leaders, and through student involvement in larger community and global issues. We mindfully support students in balancing achievement in the classroom, on the athletic field, and beyond with self-care and restoration. Midway through our day, there is a structured pause in our academic schedule with a clear message: it is important for all of us to eat, to rest, to breathe, and to take time for conversation and friendship. We uphold this principle during other stressful times as well. For example, after a long morning of standardized testing, students choose from a variety of stress-breaking activities to enjoy; activities range from guided meditation to yoga to basketball tournaments to nature walks…At HK, we are a family and our family thrives.”
Highlights from the National Blue Ribbon ceremony included the welcoming keynote by Assistant Secretary for Secondary and Elementary Education Frank Brogan, who provided inspiration and humor in describing his own journey as a career educator, more recent parent, and leader. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos also joined us to offer her congratulations and praise us as models for the nation’s schools. And, of course, we enjoyed the sights and attractions of our nation’s capital along with many networking opportunities with leaders from exemplary schools across the country.
We are in the planning stages of celebrations for students and staff, which will likely be scheduled in the warmer weather months.
Photos: Principal Donna Hayward, Assistant Superintendent Holly Hageman, and Athletic Director Lynne Flint