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School district hails Tropic Isles’ ‘Sterling Award’ commendation

By Staff | May 5, 2009

Officials with the School District of Lee County are hailing Tropic Isles Elementary’s recognition by Gov. Charlie Crist.
Tropic Isles is the only school to receive the Governor’s Sterling Award this year.
The Governor’s Sterling Award is Florida’s most prestigious award for performance excellence, officials said. It is the state level of what is nationally known as the Malcolm Baldrige Award. The school will be recognized at an event later this month in Orlando.
“I cannot tell you how thrilled and proud I am of the work going on at Tropic Isles Elementary,” said Dr. James Browder, superintendent of schools, in a prepared statement. “They have really been a model for schools across America to follow, and this honor validates the tremendous strides they have made across the board.”
Tropic Isles is the first organization of any kind in Southwest Florida to have earned the Governor’s Sterling Award, and is the first elementary school in the state to have earned the Governor’s Sterling Award since 2006. Tropic Isles accomplishments include:
– A+ school five consecutive years;
– Increased School Accountability grade point total seven consecutive years;
– 100 percent of all student subgroups meeting No Child Left Behind Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) four consecutive years – the only Lee County Title I school to do so;
– Highest percentage of teachers who are Nationally Board Certified of all Lee County Public Schools;
– Named a Glasser Model Quality school in 2006 – one of only 25 in the world;
– Was featured in a presentation at the American Society for Quality’s National Quality Education Conference in 2008.
When an organization submits a Governor’s Sterling Award application to the Florida Sterling Council, the Sterling Office assembles a team of six to eight examiners. These examiners complete an independent review of the application, then meet for two days to come to consensus on their findings of strengths and opportunities for improvement, and to prepare for the substantial five- to six-day site visit.
On site, the team interviews employees at all levels of the organization, reviews additional documents and results to verify and clarify the original application in its relationship to the Sterling Criteria for Organizational Performance Excellence. Finally, the team prepares a detailed written feedback report highlighting key strengths and opportunities for improvement for future organizational planning.
After the site visit, the examination team submits its findings to an independent panel of Sterling judges who review the findings, and select organizations that have successfully implemented the Sterling criteria across the organization, and whose results are worthy of role model status.

Source: School District of Lee County