The sign at Roseboro-Salemburg Middle School reads “PERSEVERANCE,” a quality the school has that is now being recognized in the form of a prestigious award, a 2013 Lighthouse School Award.
Principal Sheila Peterson is thrilled to receive this particular award from the North Carolina Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (NCASCD). It is presented, she says, to schools that improve student achievement in innovative, creative ways and that build a supportive school and community.
“We are honored by this award, especially to be one of only two schools in the county to ever receive it. The first school to receive it was Union Middle about five years ago,” says Peterson of the award which is presented annually to five schools in the state.
Among the reasons that Roseboro-Salemburg earned a Lighthouse Award is that they have made big strides in the past couple of years, creating various programs, projects, and activities that really embody the description of a Lighthouse school.
“We do so many things. We videotape all of our teachers for observation and improvement. We also have teachers observe other teachers in order to check up on our active and passive learning in the classroom. We want the learning to be as active as possible. We also have the Backpack Buddies program here at R-S. And the community is really involved. We have 20 community partners, and some recently helped us build our concession stand,” shares Peterson, specifically thanking Hanson Brick, Cashwell Parts and Appliances, Dubose Steel, and Hunter’s Cafe for their efforts.
Peterson, who is in her third year as principal at the Roseboro middle school, has been striving to make the school the best it can be; recognition for that is a humbling bonus.
“We’ve been working hard to bring the community and stakeholders together for the betterment of the children. We want to create a collaborative school culture where the school, the parents, and the community is one cohesive unit. Then, we can really begin to improve academics,” explains Peterson.
“We just want to make sure that our children are prepared for high school and beyond,” she adds. “We want them to be globally competitive.”
Under the leadership of Peterson and the effective instruction from their teachers, Roseboro-Salemburg students are proving they can be competitive and getting more so all the time.
“We want our students to be in the 90 percent pass rate for the end-of-grade (EOG) testing, and we’re only about 10 points away from that now,” notes Peterson. “There’s been a lot of improvement. We’re already up 10 points from just last year. Our goal is for all students to grow five to seven points on the EOG tests.”
Dr. Ethan Lenker, superintendent of Sampson County Schools, is especially pleased with the transformation Roseboro-Salemburg Middle has undergone and celebrates their award with them. “We are excited that Roseboro-Salemburg Middle School has received this state honor. They have made tremendous strides in their instruction over the last few years which is evident in their increased test scores and the overall organization of the school. They are very deserving of this honor, and the school and community should be very proud of their accomplishments.”
Indeed, as Peterson watches the school continue to improve and her students continue to grow, she is filled with a mixture of pride and gratefulness.
“It’s a privilege and I am humbled. Actually, I should say “we” are humbled because I didn’t do this by myself at all. I would be nothing without my wonderful teachers and strong staff,” says Peterson. “My hope is that we can continue to carry on and uphold the name of this award in the years to come.”
The award presentation will be held during the NCASCD Annual Conference on Thursday, Febr.7 at 8:30 a.m. in the Calloway-Oakley Ballroom of the Carolina Hotel Conference Center in Pinehurst. Peterson, assistant principal Brian Richardson, guidance counselor Bessie Locus, and two teachers will attend the presentation.
Lenker and Becky Jackson, director of Middle School Education for Sampson County Schools, will also join them as they receive their hard-earned, well-deserved award.