California, Pennsylvania, and Virginia School Districts Earn Top National Honors in 2013 Magna Awards

  California, Pennsylvania, and Virginia School Districts Earn Top National
                         Honors in 2013 Magna Awards

PR Newswire

ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 3, 2013

National award program recognizes school districts for outstanding programs
that advance student learning and encourage community involvement in schools.

ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania's Derry
Township School District, Virginia's Albemarle County Public Schools, and
California's Fontana Unified School District have been named the grand prize
winners in the American School Board Journal's (ASBJ) 19^th annual Magna
Awards program.

The Magna Awards, supported by Sodexo, recognize districts across the country
for outstanding programs that advance student learning and encourage community
involvement in schools. This year's three grand prize, 15 first place, and 15
honorable mention winners were selected from three enrollment categories:
under 5,000 students, 5,000 to 20,000 students, and over 20,000 students. Each
of the grand prize winning school districts will receive a $4,000 contribution
from Sodexo on April 14, during Sunday's General Session at NSBA's 73^rd
Annual Conference in San Diego.

"The Magna Awardsshowcase the great work going on in local school districts
across the country to increase student achievement and success," said Thomas
J. Gentzel, Executive Director of NSBA. "This year's Magna Awards
recipientsare national models that school leaders can learn from. NSBA
commends Sodexo for its continuing support of this program and its goal of
highlighting outstanding public school

"Just like the school districts recognized in the annual Magna Awards program,
Sodexo supports student achievement," said Steve Dunmore, President of Sodexo
Education-Schools. "As a partner in education, Sodexo realizes that it is
vitally important to call attention to and support school districts that go
above and beyond to enrich the learning environment for its students.
Therefore, we are proud to sponsor the Magna Awards again this year."

Here is information on the grand prize winners:

  oThe Derry Township School District, in Hershey, Pa., earned the grand
    prize in the under 5,000 enrollment category for its COCOA Principles
    program which aims to prepare students to be global citizens. COCOA
    Principles, which stands for Community Opportunity Citizenship Ownership
    Academics, has encouraged the entire community, not just students, to be
    more inclusive, respectful, and responsible citizens. Students seen
    reflecting the program's principles are nominated for awards, and high
    school graduation projects must identify the COCOA principle the student
    is modeling.
  oAlbemarle County Public Schools, in Charlottesville, Va., is being honored
    as the grand prize winner in the 5,000 to 20,000 enrollment category for
    M-Cubed: Math, Men and Mission, a program developed to improve the
    academic achievement of African-American male students and encourage them
    to enroll in higher level high school math classes. The program starts
    with a two-week summer academy for upper elementary and middle school
    students but extends year-round with mentoring and academic support from
    the 100 Black Men of Central Virginia, a community group.
  oIn the over 20,000 enrollment category, the Fontana Unified School
    District, in Fontana, Calif., is the grand prize winner. The Fontana
    Leadership Intervention Program (FLIP) focuses on keeping middle and high
    school students in school and out of the juvenile justice system. FLIP,
    which is run and funded by a non-profit corporation, offers students
    classes covering topics such as violence prevention, drug and alcohol
    resistance, and ethics. Students referred to the program also participate
    in community projects and their parents must take parenting classes. Since
    the program's inception there has been a significant decline in behavior
    issues, including truancy and alcohol and drugs incidents, at a high
    school, and bullying incidents at a middle school.

ASBJ initiated the Magna Awards in 1995 to recognize school boards for taking
bold and innovative steps to improve their educational programs. An
independent panel of school board members, administrators, and other educators
selected the winners from nearly 300 submissions.

The 2013 winners are highlighted in a special section in the May issue of ASBJ
and will be formally recognized on Saturday, April 13, at the Best Practices
for School Leaders Luncheon, which is part of NSBA's 73^rd Annual Conference.

In addition to the ASBJ special section, the districts' winning entries will
be posted on the Magna Awards website and added to the program's searchable
best practices database. Both can be found at

2013 Magna Award Winners:

Grand prize winners:
Derry Township School District, Hershey, Pa. – less than 5,000 students,
Albemarle County Public Schools, Charlottesville, Va. – 5,000 to 20,000
Fontana Unified School District, Fontana, Calif. – more than 20,000 students

First place winners – under 5,000 students
Bergenfield Public Schools, Bergenfield, N.J.
Eminence Independent Schools, Eminence, Ky.
Northwest Arctic Borough School District, Kotzebue, Alaska
Richmond Community Schools, Richmond, Ind.
Upper St. Clair School District, Upper St. Clair, Pa.

First place winners – 5,000 to 20,000 students
Granville County Schools, Oxford, N.C.
Kearney Public Schools, Kearney, Neb.
Livingston Public Schools, Livingston, N.J.
Roanoke City Public Schools, Roanoke, Va.
Tuscaloosa City Schools, Tuscaloosa, Ala.

First place winners – over 20,000 students
Alamance-Burlington School System, Burlington, N.C. – 2 programs
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Charlotte, N.C.
Fulton County School System, Atlanta, Ga.
McAllen Independent School District, McAllen, Texas

Honorable mentions – under 5,000 students
Columbia Heights Public Schools, Columbia Heights, Minn.
Gilford School District, Gilford, N.H.
Jenkins Independent School District, Jenkins, Ky.
Monadnock Regional School District, Supervisory Administrative Unit 93,
Swanzey, N.H.
Taylor County School District, Campbellsville, Ky.

Honorable mentions – 5,000 to 20,000 students
Cave Creek Unified School District #93, Cave Creek, Ariz.
Creighton School District #14, Phoenix, Ariz.
Hanover County Public Schools, Ashland, Va.
Kenton County School District, Fort Wright, Ky.
Township High School District 214, Arlington Heights, Ill.

Honorable mentions – over 20,000 students
Arlington Public Schools, Arlington, Va.
Brevard Public Schools, Viera, Fla.
Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District, Houston, Texas
Houston Independent School District, Houston, Texas
Richardson Independent School District, Richardson, Texas

American School Board Journal
American School Board Journal (, published monthly by the
National School Boards Association (, serves almost 40,000 school
board members and top-level administrators from districts across the nation.
The K-12 magazine, published continuously since 1891, has won 17 national
honors for education reporting and design since 2006.

Sodexo in North America
Sodexo, Inc. (, leading Quality of Life services company in
the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, delivers On-site Services in Corporate,
Education, Health Care, Government, and Remote Site segments, as well as
Benefits and Rewards Services and Personal and Home Services. Sodexo, Inc.,
headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., funds all administrative costs for the
Sodexo Foundation (, an independent charitable
organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $17 million
in grants to end childhood hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at

Sodexo supports achievement by providing expert solutions that improve the
quality of life for the students, staff, and communities we serve. Sodexo does
this by designing, managing, and delivering services that keep people healthy,
safe, and productive while also enriching the learning environment. Sodexo
helps the nation's schools be vibrant contributors to the success of their

SOURCE National School Board Association
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