AISD Recognized as District of Distinction

Amarillo ISD Nationally Recognized as District of Distinction
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August 23, 2017—A national educational leadership journal has named Amarillo ISD a District of Distinction. District Administration selected AISD for the award because of an innovative approach to encouraging post-secondary success. The honor is featured in a special edition of District Administration magazine, detailing the award-winning efforts of selected school districts.

A team of editors reviewed submissions and ranked nominees on innovation, the strength of results from the program submitted for review and how replicable a program is so that it can inspire other districts to create effective solutions for their own challenges.

Amarillo ISD’s entry, “From Ambition to Tradition: 100 Percent of Senior Classes Apply to College” chronicled the efforts of Caprock High School, Tascosa High School and Palo Duro High School to secure college application submissions from 100 percent of the 2016-2017 senior class.

“When we say it is our mission to graduate scholars prepared for success beyond high school, we know that means impressing upon them that they will need to pursue some sort of post-secondary learning, whether that is a military, college, trade school or certificate program,” said Superintendent Dr. Dana West. “Because of educators’ efforts to change mindsets and the willingness of our scholars and their families to enthusiastically support this project, what was once an ambitious undertaking is now a tradition,” said Superintendent Dr. Dana West.

The initiative gives students a head start, said Chief Leadership and Support Officer David Bishop, who was principal of both Caprock and Tascosa when the 100 percent initiative began at each school. “If you don’t apply, you can’t do any of it,” he said. “For some students, that’s a huge step. They’ll say I’m not going to college right now. Well, they might when they’re 35, and if they’ve gone through the process, they know they can do it,” he continued.

Amarillo High School has committed to joining the effort this school year, meaning 100 percent of AISD high schools will work to secure college applications from 100 percent of the senior class.  Caprock counselor Mandy Abernethy, whose idea inspired Caprock to first pursue the 100 percent project in 2015, commended her colleagues for seeing it through. “My own personal goal has reached far beyond what I ever imagined happening with our students,” she said. “The staff and leadership pushed me to want more for our students and we did it.”

AISD also received a plaque and letter of commendation from the publisher of District Administration.


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