By Tyrell Albin
Lawton Constitution Staff Writer
Just like one of its school mottoes says, “Hard work pays off” for MacArthur Middle School, which cele brated its fourth year as a Great Expectations: model school Friday morning.
Great Expectations is an educational movement designed to improve schools through a focus on good character and professional development for teachers.
Model school status is awarded to schools that score at least 90 percent when they are evaluated by mentors from the program, based on 17 practices char acterizing the Great Expectations philosophy. Model school is the highest rank awarded by the program. Schools in Great Expectations must reapply every year to maintain their status.
The celebration was done in the style of a Hollywood awards show during Friday’s morning assembly, hosted by students Mariah Vinson and Casey Reed. Music was provided by the MMS Orchestra and an informational video about Great Expectations created by Jimmy Harris and fea turing MMS students and faculty was shown.
MMS math teacher Curtis Suits spoke briefly about Great Expectations. Suits said he has taught at schools that practiced Great Expectations: and schools that did not. He said Great Expectationsworks best when everyone – teachers, administrators and students – chooses to accept the challenge of living by the Great Expectations precepts.
James Jackson, father of a MMS student, also talked about Great Expectations and his impressions of MacArthur Middle and MacArthur High. Jackson said when his family relocated to Lawton, he and his wife researched all of the schools before deciding where to live. They chose the East Side because of favorable test scores at MMS and MHS.
Jackson also urged students to embrace the Great Expectations of honesty, trustworthiness and integrity in their lives.
MMS eighth-grader Madison Dirickson spoke about Great Expectations. Dirickson said she often re cites the Great Expectations. creed without thinking about it, like many students. However, she said the ideas behind Great Expectations are important. Dirickson said Great Expectations is about never giving up and about second chances and building foundations for future success.
ReGina Farquhar, MMS’ Great Expectations mentor, presented the certificate commemorating the school’s model school status to principal Mark Mattingly.
She praised the students, teachers and administra tors for their efforts and for embodying the principles of Great Expectations.
Mattingly said MMS has a long tradition of excellence and commended the educa tors who first started the process of MMS becoming a Great Expectations school more than seven years ago for their vision of a better future for the school.
The MMS cheerleaders closed the celebration with a short performance.