Atchison Middle School staff and students have been named recipients of a Challenge Award from the Confidence in Kansas Public Education Task Force.

The Confidence in Kansas Public Education Task Force announced Wednesday the Atchison Middle School is one of 92 schools in the state of Kansas to be named a recipient of a 2019 Challenge Award.

The awards recognize Kansas schools for making notable differences in student achievement despite facing challenges in their school population. Since its inception in 2002, more than 1,700 awards have been presented to schools throughout the state, according to a Kansas State Department of Education news release. Certificates of Merit have been presented to the schools by Kansas State Board of Education members.

AMS Principal Chad Bilderback credited the hard work that staff members and students put in on a daily basis at the school for this award.

“It is a team effort and takes every member of the AMS family to reach such high levels of achievement,” Bilderback said. “I can’t say enough about the students and our AMS staff and their dedication to education. It is a pleasure to get to work with them day in and day out and see the growth that occurs over the years at AMS.”

The Challenge Award recognizes schools for outstanding achievement and uncommon accomplishments based on Kansas assessment results in math and reading, graduation rates, chronic absenteeism rates and the socio-economic status of those who take the test, according to the news release.

Staff members work very hard in their respective collaborative teams to meet the needs of each student in the AMS building to help them achieve success now and for the future — every student, every day, Bilderback said.

“I know that the teachers will continue to learn and grow themselves to help better serve the students at AMS,” Bilderback said. “The will continue to create rigorous and relevant lessons that are innovative and engaging, use data to help drive their instruction, and educate the whole child to reach even higher levels of success. That’s just what our staff does.”

Bilderback said he is very proud of all the students and staff comprising the AMS family.

“They are all so amazing,” Bilderback said. “Raised brave, forever brave.”

The Confidence in Public Education Task Force is a nonprofit corporation whose primary purpose is to strengthen confidence in Kansas public education and to increase awareness of the positive aspects of public education in the state. The Task Force was created in 1981.

The Task Force membership is comprised of representatives from American Association of University Women; Kansas PTA; Kansas Association of School Boards, Kansas State Board of Education; Kansas State High School Activities Association; Kansas Partners in Education; League of Women Voters, of Kansas; and United School Administrators of Kansas.

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