PLAISTOW — Timberlane Regional High School is number one. Now, the work begins to stay there.
Timberlane was named the 2014 High School of Excellence yesterday at a school-wide pep rally.
The school is one of three recipients of the New Hampshire Excellence in Education Awards — also known as the “EDies.” Equivalent awards go out to an elementary and a middle school in the state every year.
Timberlane stood out because of its continuing growth, said Peter Weaver, chairman of the high school selection committee for the EDies.
“There was a really strong sense of this idea of continuous improvement, where the principal works with the superintendent to keep moving the school forward,” Weaver said. “Every day gets better.”
Students are eager to get involved in school life, he said.
“The kids are really competitive, as you can imagine,” Weaver said.
Elise Fredericks, 18, was one of several student ambassadors working to bring the award home.
After months of work, she said, it felt like her baby and she was shocked to see it arrive.
“I’m overcome with happiness,” she said.
There’s been a lot of change in the school and district at large.
A new superintendent took over in 2012, midterm and final exams were scratched in 2010 and reinstated last fall.
More recently, students organized and fought for the right to produce “Sweeney Todd” next spring. They succeeded.
Students and their involvement are key to that growth. That was visible in the fight for “Sweeney Todd,” Metzler said.
“Sometimes we were chasing squirrels, running in too many directions,” Superintendent Earl Metzler said. “We made very clear, in terms of our mission and vision, in terms of what we wanted. That really resonated in the kind of growth you’re hearing about today.”
Administrators must “walk the walk and talk the talk,” he said, if they are going to put kids first.