Pasco Schools Earn State’s Highest Honor for Student Performance

Pasco School District Taking Nominations for Expanded Highly Capable Program

State School Superintendent Randy Dorn and State Board of Education Chair Dr. Kristina Mayer announced that Pasco School District elementary schools Chess, McGee, and Angelou are 2013 Washington Achievement Award winners.

These schools are among a total of 413 schools in the state to earn this award, which is sponsored by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and the State Board of Education. Award winners are selected using the state’s Accountability Index and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Waiver.

“These awards mark the dedication of the principals, teachers and staff members who work, often against great odds, to ensure that every student has an opportunity to thrive and succeed,” says Superintendent Saundra Hill. “We are very proud of their accomplishments and happy that the state is recognizing their efforts.”

The award is based on statewide assessment data for the three previous years. Schools are recognized as top performers in one of six categories: overall excellence, high progress, reading growth, math growth, extended graduation rate, and English language acquisition.

McGee Elementary School, under the direction of Principal Robin Hay, earned special recognition in mathematics growth for being in the top 5% based on median growth percentiles in mathematics. Angelou Elementary School, under the direction of Principal Diana Cissne, and Chess Elementary School, headed by Principal Wendi Manthei, earned special recognition for English language acquisition. Schools qualify for this recognition if they are the top 5% highest performing schools based on the median point gain on the Washington English Language Proficiency Assessment (WELPA).

“Chess Elementary is proud to receive this recognition,” says Manthei. “It is a direct reflection of the intentional efforts by our talented and dedicated staff to develop today’s child into tomorrow’s leader.”

The award-winning schools will be honored at a ceremony on April 24 in Lacey. The ESD 123 will also host a celebration for regional winners in the coming weeks. For more information about the Washington Achievement Award criteria and the complete list of winners, visit