JACKSONVILLE, FL, Jan. 15, 2020 – Being bold. Standing up for learners. Dreaming big.
These are among the qualities Duval County Public Schools was recognized for exemplifying as a recipient of the Cognia 2019 Values Driven Award of Excellence.
The prestigious award was presented to Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene on Wednesday during a conference held by Cognia – a non-profit educational accreditation organization – at its Southeast Connect Conference in Orlando.
The Values Driven Award of Excellence recognizes institutions in the Southeast who systematically and systemically model Cognia values through their day-to-day efforts to improve outcomes for their students.
“This is so much bigger than me,” said Dr. Greene. “It’s about our administrators, our teachers and our students. They are really the winners of this award. As superintendent, I am just fortunate to be the one to attend and receive the award. I receive it on behalf of our over 12,000 employees, our 130,000 students and our community as a whole.”
During Cognia’s award presentation on Wednesday, leaders shared several ways in which Duval embodied Cognia’s core values. These include:
- Dream Big – “Duval has achieved its highest graduation rate in history and ranks #2 among Florida’s large school districts for African-American student graduation rates. Leadership has established a “priority of improving overall performance at each school while not losing sight that every child has different needs.”
- Stand for the Learner. “We represent the interests of all learners with a commitment to equity and integrity. Duval also believes this as evident in their mission statement to provide educational excellence in every school, in every classroom, for every student, every day.”
- Be Bold and Daring. “We take risks that support our beliefs. Duval County Public Schools has completed a financial transparency web page providing easy access to budgets, audits and financial reports for the public. Influenced by their outstanding teachers, many Duval students are bold and daring. One such student was highlighted in TIME Magazine in November by creating and posting videos on the popular app TikTok of herself dancing and lipsycing to songs for history reenactments and historical facts.”
- Drive Potential. “We create and initiate change, growth and innovation in our work but also among each other. We embrace the individuality we bring and strive for excellence as a team…As superintendent, Dr. Greene has been instrumental in launching a University of North Florida project to improve diversity and capacity in public school leadership.”
- Be Tenacious. “The value to Be Tenacious is on the forefront every day in Duval as they are relentless in pursuing their mission. Academics, safety and financial solvency underlie the most visible initiatives of Dr. Greene’s first years as superintendent….Dr. Greene has conducted personal reviews of every high school, which led to initiatives such as the installation of high definition security cameras throughout each facility and improved perimeter fencing at many schools.”
- Build Connections. “During Duval’s Engagement Review, our Team members found that individual schools displayed unique family cultures of their own. Within those cultures, schools serve individual needs with compassion. The words, “We are family” were heard repeatedly during interviews.
The school district is one of 4,000 educational institutions belonging to the Southeast region of Cognia, which conducts rigorous, on-site reviews of the academic institutions. Cognia’s review of Duval in 2019 yielded the district’s highest score in its history.
“Fifty years ago, the school district lost its accreditation,” said Warren Jones, Duval County School Board chairman. “That initiated a whole new way of government in Jacksonville. Now, through our accreditation process, we received the highest score we ever had through accreditation. And we are receiving this award of excellence because of the people who work for DCPS and their commitment to our students.”
Parents and interested community members can learn more about Cognia at www.cognia.org
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About Duval County Public Schools
Duval County Public Schools is the 20th largest school district in the nation, educating more than 129,000 students in over 190 schools. Its mission is to provide educational excellence for every school, in every classroom, for every student, every day. Visit www.duvalschools.org to learn more.