CPS staff attends Blue Ribbon conference in Orlando

Published 7:53 pm Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Four staff members at Chocowinity Primary School had the opportunity of a lifetime last week, as they attended the Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Attending from Chocowinity Primary were: Alicia Vosburgh, principal; Summer Dail, media coordinator; Lauren Johnson, Reading Recovery teacher; and Lynn Whittington, third-grade teacher.

During the three-day conference, schools from Pennsylvania to California gathered to present their Blue Ribbon ideas and network with other educators. They were also able to take some time out for fun at Disney World.

Chocowinity Primary School was one of three North Carolina schools recognized as Blue Ribbon Schools last year.

“We were able to present, but we were also able to attend sessions while we were there,” Vosburgh said. “We heard a lot of great ideas and strategies that other schools with this title are doing.”

Chocowinity Primary presented “Back Away from the Edge,” which outlined ways to give teachers leadership roles throughout the school and create “magical moments” in the classroom to foster student success.

“We had a variety of educators. You know, a pull from different experiences,” Vosburgh said of the group of four. “We shared a lot of the strategies we brought back from the Ron Clark Academy.”

She said they also brought back many ideas for improvements, including other ways to implement the Positive Behavioral Intervention System and extending the classroom mural project to the cafeteria and bathrooms.

The four of them intend to lead a staff session soon to pass along what they learned to their coworkers.

“We took down pages and pages of notes. It really stinks that I can’t take everybody, but I can’t,” Vosburgh said. “It made the educators who work so hard feel, you know, extra special.”

Vosburgh said that it is an invaluable experience to be able to present and talk with other schools. She said she thinks educators should do so every chance they get.

“We have been presenting a lot over the past two years. … Meeting new people and networking and making contacts and just learning,” she said. “You can learn so much from other people. I love hearing and seeing what other schools are doing across our state and our nation.”

Chocowinity Primary already has another trip in the works, in which staff will present at the National Reading Recovery Conference in Ohio in January.