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Adding to the list of recognitions and awards, Lily B. Clayton Elementary is now a 2011 Texas Business and Education Coalition’s Honor Roll school.
Only 4 percent of the more than 8,000 Texas public schools receive this honor each year. The award is based on a school’s sustained academic achievement. Lily B. Clayton has managed to achieve Commended Performance ratings the last three consecutive years, and only one other Fort Worth Independent School District school, Tanglewood Elementary, was recognized as a TBEC Honor Roll School, according to the TBEC website.
“This is our first year to receive the award,” said Lily B. Clayton Principal Stephanie Hughes. “It is encouraging because it sets a standard of what we can achieve if we stay focused and work hard.”
Hughes said she was most proud of the fact that this award reflects the hard work of teachers and students over a period of time and not just “a one-shot ‘you did great’ award.”
Hughes said she attributed this continued level of excellence to the dedication of Lily B. Clayton’s teachers and the school’s education mission, which is “every child, every day.”
“We focus on making every student successful every day and we do whatever we need to do, to ensure that they learn and thrive,” Hughes said.
At a school of 520 students, this level of personal attention is no small feat, and Hughes again cited the commitment of the school’s teachers and staff.
With STAAR testing implemented this spring, the test has brought with it a myriad of new requirements. There is now a time limit, more questions, and the test looks for a higher level of understanding and application skills, Hughes said.
As this changing test environment presents new challenges, teachers are encouraging students to ask “higher level questions—the why’s and how’s,” Hughes said.
The school’s long history of teacher dedication began when it opened in 1922 as Mistletoe Heights Elementary School with three teachers responsible for its 79 students. Mistletoe Heights was renamed in honor of Ms. Clayton, who had a teaching career that spanned 50 years and touched hundreds of lives, according to the Lily B. website.
Lily B. Clayton’s status as a distinguished learning institution is only augmented by the building’s own notoriety. The school building itself was designated a Historic and City Landmark in 1990.
“Lily B. remains a testament to the architectural style of the 20’s and a visual reminder of quality WPA projects from the 30s. The oldest section (the 5th grade hallway) was extended in 1936 and comprises the front entrance, auditorium, and kindergarten classrooms,” according to the website.
Additional construction has been carefully planned to maintain the original architectural integrity of the building, which is now home to more than 500 students.