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Berkeley County intermediate school wins national award

July 16, 2008

NEW YORK - Eagle School Intermediate Principal Margaret Kursey accepted the Panasonic National School Change Award on Monday from Marilyn "Penny" Joseph, director of corporate outreach programs for the Panasonic Corp. of North America, and Larry Leverett, executive director of The Panasonic Foundation.

Eagle School Intermediate serves approximately 430 students in fourth and fifth grades, and is in the Berkeley County Schools system.

The Panasonic National School Change Award (PNSCA) is the only one of its kind nationwide because it recognizes schools that have significantly changed. Between 2000 and 2008, 665 schools from 44 states were nominated for the award.

Responding to 16 criteria, each nominated school provides data and documentation to support its case. Award winners are selected in the spring of each academic year, with 24 finalists and six top schools gaining national recognition.

The award package to each of the six winning schools consists of a ceremony with the students and staff at the school, Panasonic products and cash prizes valued at more than $5,000, subsidized participation of the school's principal at the Annual National Principals Leadership Institute (NPLI) in New York City, and participation in a major national research project focusing on school change.

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Kursey joined more than 40 colleagues from Eagle School and Superintendent Manny Arvon for the awards presentation. Eight members of the school's leadership team presented Eagle's story to the institute attendees on Sunday.

According to a news release, the school's math scores increased from 60 percent to 83 percent mastery, and reading scores increased from 69 percent to 87 percent mastery. Special-education results now show 78 percent of students at mastery levels, according to the release.

Kerri Briggs, assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, and Lew Smith, founder and director of the National Principals Leadership Institute, which is occurring concurrently with the awards presentation through Saturday in New York City, congratulated Kursey on the school's progress.

The awards presentation occurred at the McGraw Hill Cos. auditorium in New York.

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