Starting them off right at a young age

By ANNIE MCCLAIN / Guest Columnist

Over the past five to ten years, a variety of educational “best practices” and “new programs” have crossed the thresholds of our nation’s schools. In general, these programs and best practices fail to address the melting pot of wide-ranging of learning styles and academic needs of our diverse student population, particularly the high achievers and gifted students.

As the instructional leader of Montevallo Elementary, it is my duty to ensure that no child is left behind. To me, this means that the programs, activities, and clubs we embrace must ensure that each student enrolled at MES develops a strong academic foundation and is motivated toward reaching his or her highest potential for learning.

The Montevallo Elementary National Elementary Honor Society will help accomplish this goal for our high achievers by recognizing their hard work and accomplishments. The first of its kind in the school district, this Honor Society is long overdue.

Establishing this prestigious club has been an interest of mine since I first assumed the position of principal at Montevallo Elementary School. Researching the society and trying to set up the guiding principle for membership was a daunting task. It took more time I imagined it would, but it is very important for me to make sure that every child deserving of this honor is given the opportunity to be considered for induction into the honor society.

As I watched my students walk across the stage and receive the honor they had worked so hard for, I was overcome with inspiration.

The fact that we are a Title I school made this ground-breaking ceremony even more emotional for me and many others. We were proud to honor eight exceptional students from this Title I school into this nationally recognized group. That is an unprecedented accomplishment in this district and a great achievement for these honored students.

Because of the success of this year’s program and the positive effects that the National Honor Society has bestowed upon our school, we are committed to inducting more students in the Fall of 2011. This way we can help all students strive to attain the academic goals that will allow them to succeed.

Dr. Annie McClain is the principal at Montevallo Elementary School.