Connolly Celebrates A+ School Designation at Schoolwide Assembly
On the morning of April 21, a sea of purple and gold shirts swept over Connolly Middle School’s gymnasium as students and staff filled the room to celebrate their school’s Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF) 2017 A+ School of Excellence™ designation and award ceremony.
Connolly’s Jazz Band pumped up the crowd with upbeat music before Principal Kathy Mullery stepped forward and congratulated the efforts of the entire school for their work on making this award possible.
“Thank you to our students. This honor would have not been possible without your hard work,” said Mullery. “Thank you also to our dedicated teachers, classified staff, nurses, and school psychologists who believe in our mission to succeed as a school.”
AEF announced the names of 39 Arizona public schools receiving the coveted A+ School of Excellence award for the 2016-2017 academic year in April. Connolly Middle School, within the Tempe Elementary School District, was among the list of the 2017 A+ School of Excellence winning schools.
The A+ School of Excellence Program is a comprehensive school assessment program that celebrates outstanding schools and brings to light the positive stories and successes taking place in public schools every day. AEF has identified and honored exemplary pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public schools in Arizona since 1983.
Connolly Middle School became eligible for the A+ School of Excellence award by submitting an application that provides demographic information, a description of current programs and practices, documentation of parent and community involvement, a profile of the school’s leadership and commitment to excellence, equity, and service. Connolly earned this award for their superior ability to identify and meet the academic and non-academic needs of their student population.
After acknowledging Connolly’s unique efforts that enabled them to receive the award, AEF Board Member Mike Gardener presented the A+ School of Excellence award banner to Mullery. This banner is now proudly displayed on Connolly’s school walls.
“One of my favorite words is the Japanese word kaizen, which means continuous improvement,” said Gardener. “When I think of kaizen, I think of Connolly Middle School.”
Aguilar Principal Jessica Larsen and Thew Principal Marissa Schneckloth along with Tempe Elementary School District Board Members Jim Lemmon, Teresa Devine, and Patrick Morales were also at the event to congratulate Connolly’s efforts.
“I’m very proud of Connolly Middle School,” said Devine “I’m continuously impressed by Connolly’s staff and their commitment to their students. It’s great to see them recognized for their efforts.”
Connolly's Student Body President, Eighth-Grade Student Alexis Moreno, was also very proud and had many great things to say about her school.
"The best thing about being a student at Connolly is the diversity of programs we have," said Moreno. "From our Connolly Jazz Band to ASPIRE PBL engineering classes, there's something for every student!"
Seventh-Grade Student Mya Lichner also was visibly excited to witness Connolly’s achievement of the A+ School of Excellence award. Lichner was one of the students selected to lead Arizona Educational Foundation judges around the school during their visit earlier in the school year.
"The AEF judges were very nice and excited to learn about our school," said Lichner. "I feel even more proud to be a student here now that we are an A+ school!"