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SJMS is 1 of 26 Schools Nationally to Retain Designation as an NASSP Breakthrough School

Press Release|
Contributed by NASSP|
Thursday, August 31, 2017

McKinney, Texas – Spearheaded by the efforts of highly effective school leaders, 26 middle level and high schools recognized by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) as Breakthrough Schools from 2011-14 have been re-designated for 2017.

Among them is Scott Johnson Middle School, which earned its Breakthrough School designation in 2013. NASSP recently evaluated its Breakthrough Schools and determined that they have sustained their student achievement rates since their initial recognition.

“I am so proud of our students and staff. Being re-designated as an NASSP Breakthrough School is an incredible honor,” said SJMS Principal Mitch Curry. “The award demonstrates MISD and Scott Morgan Johnson Middle School’s commitment to all kids. Although many of our students face a variety of challenges outside of the classroom, our teachers meet each student where they are, both academically and emotionally. Using a continuous improvement model, our staff show empathy and use a laser-like focus on student growth and academic gap closure. I couldn’t be happier to work alongside such educational rock stars. Scott Morgan Johnson is truly an educational family.”

Mitch Curry shaking hands with a femail student as other students walk by in the crosswalk.

Scott Johnson Middle School Principal Mitch Curry can be found each morning greeting students as they arrive for school.

These re-designated Breakthrough Schools are recognized for their continued demonstration of implementing strategies related to three core areas of NASSP’s Breaking Ranks II, a comprehensive framework for school improvement. These include collaborative leadership, personalization and performance growth and reduced achievement gaps on state assessments over time.

To salute these schools, each will receive a plaque and banner to showcase their accomplishments. In addition, four of the schools’ principals—including SJMS Principal Mitch Curry—were selected to attend this year’s National Principals Conference (July 9-11) and another six were chosen to participate in the McKinsey Management Program for School Leaders (an online executive leadership program for school leaders exclusively designed for NASSP).

“Each of these remarkable schools has a principal who synchronizes all the small improvements throughout the school to build toward a large improvement to ensure student success,” stated NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti. “We are honored to recognize these schools as maintaining and continuing their school improvement measures, to the benefit of staff, teachers, and students alike.”

The full list of schools follows:

  • Alice Ott Middle School, Portland, OR
    James Johnston, Principal
  • B.F. Terry High School, Rosenberg, TX
    Andree Osagie, Principal
  • Bloomfield High School, Bloomfield, NJ
    Chris Jennings, Principal
  • Christel House Academy, Indianapolis, IN
    Colin Butler, Secondary Principal
  • Clarke Central High School, Athens, GA
    Marie Yuran, Principal
  • Fossil Ridge Intermediate School, St. George, UT
    Jonathan Howell, Principal
  • Hastings Middle School, Hastings, NE
    David Essink, Principal
  • Lafayette Academy Charter School, New Orleans, LA
    Monica Boudouin, Head of School
  • Lesher Middle School, Ft. Collins, CO
    Tom Dodd, Principal
  • Maplewood Richmond Heights High School, St. Louis, MO
    Kevin Grawer, Principal
  • Marshall Fundamental Secondary School, Pasadena, CA
    Mark Anderson, Principal
  • Native American Community Academy, Albuquerque, NM
    Kara Bobroff, Executive Director
  • Norview High School, Norfolk, VA
    Marjorie Stealey, Principal
  • Oberlin High School, Oberlin, OH
    William Baylis II, Principal
  • Oscar Smith Middle School, Chesapeake, VA
    Judith Thurston, Principal
  • Pierce County High School, Blackshear, GA
    Dara Bennett, Principal
  • San Ysidro High School, San Diego, CA
    Hector Espinoza, Principal
  • Scott Morgan Johnson Middle School, McKinney, TX
    Mitchell Curry, Principal
  • Sleepy Hollow High School, Sleepy Hollow, NY
    Tracy Smith, Principal
  • Southmoreland Middle School, Scottdale, PA
    Vincent Mascia, Principal
  • The Preuss School UCSD, La Jolla, CA
    Scott Barton, Principal
  • Trenton High School, Trenton, MO
    Ron Franklin, Principal
  • Wade Hampton High School, Greenville, SC
    Eric Williams, Principal
  • William Smith High School, Aurora, CO
    David Roll, Principal
  • Woodbridge Middle School, Woodbridge, VA
    Angela Owens, Principal
  • Worcester Technical High School, Worcester, MA
    Kyle Brenner, Principal

Information provided by NASSP.

For more information on the Breakthrough Schools program, please visit

About the Breakthrough Schools program
Established in 2007, NASSP’s Breakthrough Schools program recognizes middle level and high schools that serve large numbers of students in poverty and are high achieving or demonstrate dramatically improving student achievement. Schools are selected based on documented success in implementing strategies aligned with the three core areas of Breaking Ranks II, including collaborative leadership; personalization; and curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of and voice for principals and other school leaders across the United States. NASSP seeks to transform education through school leadership, recognizing that the fulfillment of each student’s potential relies on great leaders in every school committed to the success of each student. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society, and National Association of Student Councils.

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