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High Praise for DISHS Offered at NESSC Conference

posted Mar 27, 2012, 5:54 PM by Todd West
On March 22 & 23, a team of educators from Deer Isle-Stonington High School presented "You CAN Get There From Here: Using Data, PLC's, and Teacher Leadership to Drive School Improvement" at the 3rd annual New England Secondary School High School Redesign in Action Conference in Norwood, MA.  DISHS was one of only three main high schools invited by NESSC to present at this conference that annually draws over 450 educators and policy makers from across New England. After the conference, Mark Kostin, Maine's NESSC Liaison and Senior Associate at Great Schools Partnership, sent the following letter to CSD #13 Superintendent Bob Webster:

Good afternoon Robert,

While it was still fresh in my mind, I wanted to send you a quick note to let you know how powerful the presentation from Deer-Isle Stoning High School was at the 3rd Annual New England Secondary School Consortium High School Redesign in Action. Todd and the teachers were nothing short of incredible and succeeded in captivating and inspiring the more than 100 educators from across New England who attended their session. They demonstrated that, even in the most challenging circumstances, teachers can make an incredible difference by focusing on establishing rigorous learning standards, by providing personalized learning opportunities and support, and by collectively elevating the professional discourse to improve practice. Your school's graduation rate increase over the last few years is tremendous.

In particular... Todd's... commitment to focusing on student and adult learning is obvious and his abilities to connect to students, parents, and the community through social media, is unparalleled. Finally, I think what inspired me most during our three days of meetings with over 450 educators, students, and policy-makers was Todd's statement to his fellow principals. In reference to the continual challenge and dilemma of having to focus first on putting out fires, Todd stated the following: "In my view, student failure should be viewed by us all as a raging inferno."

You, your School Board, and your community have every reason to be proud of your teachers, administrators, and the school improvement work you have begun to undertake.

Sincerely,

Mark Kostin

Additionally, Maine Commissioner of Education Stephen Bowen mentioned DISHS in a "tweet" on Thursday:

The conference proved to be a tremendous opportunity for DISHS to learn from other schools in the region as well as share our own successful practices with an eager audience.  Educators and officials from across New England are beginning to take notice that good things are happening at DISHS!
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