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John P. Ellbogen Foundation Announces Ellbogen Meritorious School Award
March 18, 2011 — A program designed to encourage a higher level of excellence in the quality of instruction for students is being made available to Wyoming school districts through the John P. Ellbogen Foundation.
The Ellbogen Meritorious School Award program is for Wyoming school district personnel, according to Mary Garland, president of the John P. Ellbogen Foundation.
Garland and the foundation's board have committed for the next six years the resources necessary to provide the professional development and financial support for district leaders and teachers to continue their efforts to enhance quality teaching, not only in individual classrooms, but also on a building-wide basis.
"We must continue to grow the number of National Board Certified Teachers to a critical mass to see the true impact of this work," says Garland. "We believe that this is the right thing for Wyoming teachers and, more importantly, students. The students are the ultimate beneficiaries."
The new program identifies two options for schools. The first is for 20 percent of the certified professionals in a school building to become National Board Certified. The second is for the principal and a minimum of 80 percent of the building's teachers to engage in a professional learning community with the Take One! assessment from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
The guidelines that explain the specifics of the program can be found at the following websites: www.ellbogenfoundation.org or www.wnbci.org. For more information about National Board Certification, go to www.nbpts.org.
In addition to the improved quality of teaching for students, schools will receive public recognition as an Ellbogen Meritorious School plus a cash incentive. The Ellbogen Foundation also will provide a permanent display of the school's achievement for the exterior of the building.
John P. "Jack" Ellbogen, the foundation's benefactor, had two great passions in his life, Garland says. One was his beloved state of Wyoming and the other was his commitment to quality education.
For the last six years, his children have honored his wishes and the Ellbogen Foundation has become a leader in the state for investing in education for the entire span of a child's life -- from their earliest years through graduation from the University of Wyoming.