Hawkersmith provides an update on DES at the school board | Local News


Decherd Elementary School staff reach out to students in a way that lets them know they are valued and are at the center of the educational process, according to principal Chris Hawkersmith.

Each principal in the school system reports to the school board on the activities that take place in their respective schools.

Hawkersmith updated the board on Feb. 7 on “what’s up at DES?”

He said teachers have been involved in an effort where they individually go up to students and say ‘you are the reason I came to school today’, expressing appreciation to students for making an effort. to learn.

Hawkersmith presented a slideshow showing how the students reacted, and the joy of hearing “you are the reason I came to school today” brought big smiles and admiration for the teachers involved. .

Hawkersmith said the school’s educational format aims to let students know they are valued with the aim of increasing morale where they will become more actively involved in the learning process. He added that the approach made a huge difference.

“The game changer is what will be remembered,” he said, adding that while academics are an integral part of education, inspiring students to want to learn through high self-esteem carries weight. important in the learning process.

School board member Christine Hopkins expressed her gratitude for Hawkersmith and the school’s accomplishments.

“It’s great to see all the great things happening in our schools today,” she told Hawkersmith. “Thank you!”

The slideshow included images of a tree house on campus which adds a different dimension to the learning environment.

Sara Liechty, Board Member, provided her assessment.

“You feel the climate when you’re there,” she said. “It’s embracing, and I was honored to be in the treehouse. It’s a great place for the kids to learn. Thank you for the wonderful work you do.

School board president CleiJo Walker summed up the students’ feelings about what Hawkersmith did: “They love you.”

Huntland manager Ken Bishop, who was in the audience, went on to say “it really is a team effort”.

Hawkersmith recently captured Franklin County’s best principal in the 2022 edition of the Herald Chronicles annual competition.

He was also the best main in 2019.

Since then, DES has continued in 2020 and 2021 to win back-to-back model school titles.

Model schools are selected by the International Center for Educational Leadership in a National Area, and Decherd was one of 16 schools selected for the challenge.

Hawkersmith was a guest speaker at 29and Model Schools Annual Conference in June 2021 at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville.

“Becoming a model school for the second year in a row is a huge testament to the tremendous impact that DES continues to have on the education of our students, representative of our county and the impact on an entire community,” said he said back when Decherd was selected as a repeat model school.

ICLE, whose mission is to challenge, inspire and equip today’s educators, said Decherd Elementary was selected on the basis that it has made rapid and significant improvements in student achievement. .

Hawkersmith said Decherd Elementary recognized the need for change, collectively established a vision, and its staff consistently worked together to create a learning environment that allows students of all abilities to thrive.

He said receiving the accolades is the icing on the cake for having such a successful program.

“Decherd Elementary is extremely proud and honored to be selected as the 2021 Model School,” Hawkersmith said. “It’s a huge honour. There are only 16 selected schools in the United States, and that is a very small percentage of all schools. It’s pretty important to be one of them.

Hawkersmith has been at the helm of Decherd for six years after serving as deputy headmaster at North Middle School for a year.

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