• Johnston County School System receves national recognition

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    April 11, 2012

    ALEXANDRIA, VA  ­­– The Johnston County (N.C.) Schools have been selected as a first place winner in the American School Board Journal’s (ASBJ) eighteenth annual Magna Awards program.
    The Johnston County Schools were honored in the "over 20,000 enrollment" category. The district created GRADUATE!—an initiative that provides personalized educational experiences to high school dropouts in a separate educational setting to help them to earn their diplomas. The program offers online and face-to-face courses, tutoring, mentoring, career and job coaching, housing, and mental health services to students. Since adopting the initiative, Johnston County Schools’ dropout rate has declined from 5.39 percent in 2006-07 to 3.19 percent in 2010-11. Over these same four years, the district's graduation rate increased from 72.8 percent to 78.7 percent.
    The Magna Awards 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: less than 5,000 students, 5,000 to 20,000 students, and over 20,000 students.This year's grand prize winners were the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District in Maplewood, Mo., the Monroe-Woodbury Central School District in Central Valley, N.Y., and the Pittsburgh Public Schools in Pennsylvania.
    The Magna Awards are supported by Sodexo School Services. Each of the grand prize-winning school districts will receive $4,000 in scholarship money during a special presentation at the National School Boards Association’s(NSBA) Annual Conference, to be held April 21-23 in Boston.
    “The Magna Awards exemplifies strong school board leadership, creativity, and commitment to student achievement in public education,”said Anne L. Bryant, ASBJ’s Publisher and Executive Director of NSBA. “This year’s Magna Awards recipients truly showcase the best practices and innovative school programs that are advancing student success.” 
    “Sodexo is proud to create learning-friendly environments that allow our partner districts to focus on doing what they do best—educating our children,” said Steve Dunmore, President of Sodexo Education-Schools. “We are honored to sponsor the Magna Awards and want to celebrate all school boards and communities that share in the commitment to further student well-being and achievement.”
    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 300 submissions. This year’s nominations came from 44 states.
    The 2012 winners are highlighted in a special supplement to the May issue of ASBJ,and will be formally recognized on Saturday, April 21, at the Best Practices for School Leaders Luncheon, which is part of NSBA’s Annual Conference.
    In addition to the ASBJ supplement, the district's winning entry will be posted on the Magna Awards website and added to the program's searchable best practices database. Both can be found at www.asbj.com/magna.
    American School Board Journal
    American School Board Journal(www.asbj.com), published monthly by the National School Boards Association, serves more than 40,000 school board members and top-level administrators from districts across the nation. The K-12 education magazine, published continuously since 1891, has won 17 national honors for education reporting and design since 2006.

    Sodexo in North America
    Sodexo, Inc. (www.sodexoUSA.com), leading Quality of Daily Life Solutions company in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, delivers On-site Service Solutions in Corporate, Education, Health Care, Government, and Remote Site segments, andMotivation Solutions such as Esteem Pass. Sodexo, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., funds all administrative costs for the Sodexo Foundation (www.SodexoFoundation.org), an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $17 million in grantsto end childhood hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at www.sodexoUSA.com/blog.

    As research indicates, diet and nutrition as well as classroom and school conditions have an impact on student performance. Sodexo is committed to student well-being in support of achievement and has initiated a variety of programs around nutrition, achievement, environment, community and activities. Sodexo creates learning-friendly environments through our student nutrition and facilities management programs at nearly 500 school districts across the country and the company serves more than 2 million healthy and delicious school meals each day. Sodexo has been a proud sponsor of the Magna Awards since 1995.

    Rick Childrey, President
    (919) 934-9166

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