Around the Schools
Asa Mercer Middle School named winner of 2012 Golden Apple 'Pathways to Excellence' Award
KCTS 9 announced that Asa Mercer Middle School is one of three schools across the state honored with the "Pathways to Excellence" Award. The award focuses on Washington schools that are making significant strides in closing the achievement and opportunity gap.
The following information regarding Mercer is included in the KCTS 9 news release:
Mercer Middle School serves a student population that is highly diverse in terms of ethnicity and socioeconomic status.
Mercer’s staff work tirelessly to create a consistent, unified learning experience. Teachers collaborate closely with each other and reinforce relationships with students by personally greeting each student at the classroom door. Extensive use is made of a three-part class sequence that 1) keeps students focused by engaging them in activities as soon as they enter the classroom; 2) provides explicit instruction; and 3) offers opportunities for students to review concepts and for teachers to assess each student’s mastery of those concepts. Assessments every six weeks allow teachers to further measure students’ progress.
Mercer has made major strides in math and science learning in particular—an achievement seen across demographic categories. Since 2002–03, proficiency in science has risen from 3 percent to 77 percent among African-American eighth-graders at Mercer. Fifty-eight percent of Mercer’s English Language Learners are at proficiency in eighth-grade science, compared with 14 percent statewide, while 69 percent of Mercer eighth-graders from low-income families demonstrate proficiency in math, compared with 41 percent statewide.
Christopher Carter, who was a teacher at Mercer prior to becoming principal, says the staff are guided by “the undying belief that our kids, regardless of poverty, regardless of color, regardless of being traditionally ’underserved,’ can actually achieve.” That philosophy is practiced every day at Mercer Middle School.
About the Golden Apple Awards
The Golden Apple Awards recognize and honor examples of exceptional teaching and educational innovation in Washington state. Since the first Golden Apple Awards in 1992, KCTS 9 has received nominations citing the achievements of more than 3,000 individuals and programs across Washington, leading to the selection of more than 200 outstanding educators and programs. More than 500 people attended a ceremony at Seattle's Intiman Theater to honor last year’s winners, who came from Burien, Mercer Island, Okanogan, Oroville, Seattle, Sequim, Snohomish, Tacoma and Wenatchee. The Golden Apple Awards are sponsored by KCTS 9 and funded by the PEMCO Foundation and the School Employees Credit Union of Washington. Special funding for the 2012 Golden Apple Pathways to Excellence Awards comes from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
About KCTS 9
KCTS 9 brings quality public television programming to 2.6 million viewers each week in Western and Central Washington State, British Columbia and across Canada. To watch or learn more about any of our programs, visit KCTS9.org.