Woodland Hills recognized for fourth year as model school

Woodland Hills Elementary is presented with a Great Expectations flag commemorating its fourth year as a Great Expectations Model School during a ceremony Friday. From left are students Kennedy Huskey, Aaron Bea and Emma Eschler; ReGina Farquhar, GE mentor; GE chief executive officer Linda Dzialo; and student emcees Amy Little and Cruz Adams.
 
By Tyrell Albin
Lawton Constitution Staff Writer
 
Woodland Hills Elementary School celebrated a fourth year as a Great Expectations Model School Friday afternoon.
 
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 characterizing 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.
 
Groups of children representing each grade at the school performed musical numbers, dances and poetry recitations for an audience of parents.
 
Linda Dzialo, chief executive officer of Great Expectations and former deputy superintendent of Lawton Public Schools, was present to congratulate the school’s faculty, administrators and students.
 
Dzialo said Woodland Hills is one of only 85 model schools nationwide and credited the school’s continuing success to hard work by everyone involved.
 
ReGina Farquhar, the school’s Great Expectations mentor, was also at the ceremony.
 
Farquhar said she is in schools every day and sees students who want to learn. Only some schools answer that call, she said, and Woodland Hills is one of them.
 
"To sustain Model School status for four years is almost unheard of," Farquhar said.
 
Rep. Ann Coody, R-Lawton, presented a proclamation from the Oklahoma House of Representatives, issued by Speaker of the House Kris Steele at her request.
 
Sen. Randy Bass, D-Lawton, presented a similar proclamation from the State Senate, issued by Gov. Mary Fallin at his request.