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Aikin Elementary School Surprised with TAP School of Promise Award

March 10, 2012

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Los Angeles, CA—Leaders from Aikin Elementary School in New Caney, Texas, were surprised with the TAP School of Promise Award, which comes with a financial prize of $5,000. The award honors a school for demonstrated efforts while in the early stages of implementing TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement. The Award was one of four in the nation presented before more than 1,000 educators and policy leaders attending a Saturday luncheon at the 12th National TAP Conference, Building a System of Teacher Leaders. Delinda Neal, executive director of curriculum and instruction for the New Caney Independent School District accepted the award on the school's behalf.

TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement is a revolutionary education reform that offers teachers opportunities for career advancement, ongoing job-embedded professional growth, educator evaluation and performance-based compensation. The implementation of TAP's comprehensive elements is proven to strengthen teacher effectiveness and student achievement.

"I commend Principal Trina Persson and the entire leadership team for infusing the TAP system into the culture and daily operations of Aikin Elementary School," said Dr. Gary Stark, president and CEO of the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET), the non-profit public charity that manages and supports the TAP system and presents the TAP School of Promise Award. "Their commitment to TAP is worthy of this recognition."

Aikin Elementary School, located in the New Caney Independent School District, started implementing TAP in the 2011-12 school year. Persson enthusiastically proposed TAP to her faculty, who voted close to 100 percent in favor of implementation.

Persson's positive attitude and attention to detail persisted throughout the hiring, training and implementation of TAP. Master and mentor teachers were selected, who along with Persson and her administrators, now form the TAP Leadership Team. This team drives instruction through weekly collaborative professional development "cluster" meetings and follow-up, classroom observations and pre- and post-conferences with every teacher.

"We are certain that TAP will bring wonderful professional growth for teachers and will ultimately allow every student at Aikin to reap the benefits," said Persson. "The staff at Aikin is committed to providing the best education possible for our students, and we look forward to this new opportunity."

Other School of Promise Award recipients include West Goshen Elementary School in Goshen (Goshen Community Schools), Indiana; Carter Middle School in Strawberry Plains (Knox County Schools), Tennessee; and Judkins Middle School in Pismo Beach (Lucia Mar Unified School District), California.

The TAP Recognition Awards are funded by the Lowell Milken Family Foundation.

Introduced in 1999, TAP impacts more than 20,000 teachers and 200,000 students. For more information on TAP or the 12th National TAP Conference at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles, visit You can also follow the TAP system's live updates on Twitter at