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Mill Creek Elementary School and Liberty Middle School have earned a coveted School of Distinction Award from CLAS or Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools. In the photo, English Learner (EL) students and families at Mill Creek enjoyed a Jenga game during a get-together. CONTRIBUTED

Mill Creek, Liberty rated as CLAS School of Distinction

MADISON – Two campuses of Madison City Schools recently received the coveted “School of Distinction Award” for excellence from the Council for Leaders in Alabama (or CLAS).

Mill Creek Elementary School is the CLAS Banner School for District 8 in Alabama. “This is a huge accomplishment and honor. We are recognized for our outstanding accomplishments with our EL (English Learners) program,” Mill Creek Principal Carmen Buchanan said.

“The success of this program is due to partnerships of teachers, faculty, students, parents, staff, administration and district leaders all working together to ensure our students succeed,” Buchanan said. “We are thankful for our entire Mill Creek family and the hard work of so many to achieve this honor. Thank you, Michelle Phillips and Kiley Rikard, for helping guide us as we reach our English Language Learners.”

Liberty Principal Shannon Brown said CLAS recognized 30 Schools of Distinction across the eight state school board districts and announced the 2019 CLAS Banner Schools on May 4 during a virtual awards ceremony.

The CLAS Banner School program was created in 2001 to recognize schools in Alabama that showcase outstanding programs and service to students. Each school was nominated for this award by their superintendent with 189 school programs nominated statewide, Brown said.

“Liberty was awarded the recognition as one of the 30 Schools of Distinction across the state for our middle school World Language Program. We are very honored to be in this category of recognition, and we are so excited for Mill Creek Elementary who was awarded the 2019 District 8 CLAS Banner School,” Brown said.

“Liberty faculty and staff are always going above and beyond to create experiences for our middle school students, so I am excited that our World Language teachers are receiving recognition for their hard work, dedication and creativity across the languages. There aren’t many middle schools out there where you get to pick from five different languages,” Brown said.

Brown gives all the praise to Liberty’s faculty and staff. “They are the ones in the trenches, constantly seeking new ideas and always giving it everything they’ve got,” Brown said. “We have the best of the best teaching in our district. This award is just one recognition of many that proves that.”

During the Banner School process, superintendents nominate schools with unique, student-centered programs that have succeeded during the preceding school year. Nominated principals then document details about their school’s programs in an application. Within each state board district, a district selection team reviews the applications.

For more information, visit clasleaders.org.

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