Districts of Distinction is a national recognition program created by District Administration magazine to honor school districts that are leading the way with new ideas that work. We’re looking to recognize established initiatives that are yielding quantifiable benefits, and that could be replicated by other districts. After one year of this program, there have been 473 district nominations nationally resulting in 176 districts being honored.

Meridian is a District of Distinction for their focus on systematic and sustainable improvement practices designed to improve every element of the district through leadership development. Over the past three years members of the Meridian Leadership Team have been challenged to analyze and potentially overhaul all fundamental processes and systems. The team has been implementing the Baldridge Framework for performance excellence to improve district systems in a manner that is transferrable to every district building and department with the end result of leaner systems and improved outcomes. While the improvement effort is still in its infancy, many measurables and key systems have already improved, including: district audit findings, the manner in which the schools and departments set goals and improvement plan, and the monitoring of data have dramatically improved. Meridian believes the continuous improvement plan in place allows for long-term, sustainable improvements that will positively impact students, staff, and the community.

Board President John Smith commented, “We have committed to a vision of having world-class schools while maintaining our small-town values. We are moving forward to that end and it is refreshing to talk about progress being made.”

Meridian plans on the further use and expansion of a continuous improvement model based on Baldridge Framework for Excellence and the Illinois affiliate Illinois Performance Excellence.

Superintendent of Schools, Dr. PJ Caposey, was very excited to receive news of this recognition. “I am most pleased for our Leadership Team, faculty, and staff. This recognition is representative of their hard work and commitment to making this district we are all very proud of – even better.”

Caposey continued to note that we are being recognized for our process and a commitment to a process – and that the true measure of success will be with improved outcomes over time.

District Administration is the most widely received, most regularly read publication for K12 district-level school leaders nationwide. DA provides cutting-edge coverage of education technology, news, curriculum, policy, finance, profiles and more to this exclusive audience across print, digital and in-person event platforms. Year after year, independent research has proven that no other K12 education management publication matches the reach, readership and audience engagement of District Administration.

Districts of Distinction

(COURTESY PHOTO Tempo) Leadership Team members working on HR systems (L to R) Liz Jones, PJ Caposey, Jill Davis, and Jon Mickle.

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