Bright and early Wednesday morning, Anthony Jarrett, Principal of Marshall High School, settled down in his seat in the auditorium at Brennan High School, prepared to listen to the Superintendent talk to all the District’s administrators about the upcoming school year.
Little did he know that he would be surprised before 650 of his peers when former Superintendent Ed Rawlinson announced that he was the recipient of the 2014 Ed Rawlinson Innovator of the Year award.
Jarrett received the award for establishing the Marshall High School Freshman House, which focuses on helping incoming freshman be successful.
“I am so surprised and honored to receive this special award,” says Jarrett. “This means a lot but I share it with everyone on my campus who has embraced the Freshman House concept and made it a success.”
“In fact, the teachers and staff at Marshall are the true innovators and change agents who put student learning as a top priority in their practice,” he adds. “This is a Marshall award and I am proud to be a part of it.”
Following the 2011-12 school year, Jarrett noticed a decline in the number of students advancing from the ninth grade. He called together a group of interested teachers and they discovered that there was an increase in absenteeism, lower grades and test scores, and an increase in discipline issues for the freshman class which undoubtedly contributed to the problem.
The result of more meetings and planning by Jarrett and a core group of teachers is the Marshall Freshman House, which serves approximately 650 students deemed needing extra help.
Key components of the Freshman House include:
· Increased communication with parents
· Increased support in math and reading/writing
· An establishment of a collaborative teaching model
· Creation of a mentor program (student to student). With 165 students qualified to serve as mentors, there was a ratio of one mentor to every four to five students.
The result was gains across the board in regard to attendance and test scores. There was also a dramatic decrease in disciplinary incidents. Ultimately, approximately 75 percent of students improved their scores on the writing exam, and about 53 percent showed improvement in reading.
“Anthony Jarrett is an outstanding campus instructional leader,” says Dr. Brian Woods, superintendent. “He is very deserving of this award, and I am very proud of all that he has accomplished at Marshall High School.”
Pictured from (l-r) are Dave Gannon, NEF Vice President of Programs;
Wade Cleary, NEF President; Anthony Jarrett, 2014 Innovator of the Year;
Dr. Brian Woods, Superintendent; and Ed Rawlinson, former Superintendent
and namesake of the award.
The Innovator of the Year award is administered annually by the Northside Education Foundation (NEF) to one (of 14,000) of NISD’s employees whose creative idea is successfully implemented and can be easily adopted by other schools or for wider use. Nominations are submitted from throughout the District, and a committee from NEF selects a winner from those nominations.
Past winners have included Landa Rodgers, 2013; Linda Zarakas, 2012; Kerry Haupert, 2011; Robert Harris, 2010; Jonathan Dale, 2009; Dr. Phil Linerode, 2008; Windy Barker, 2007, Debbie Merritt, 2006; Millie Linares, 2005; Jack Funkhouser, 2004; Math Department and Tim Boezinger, 2003; and Irene Alvarez, 2002.