Keller Middle School Named Texas School to Watch

Keller Middle School Named Texas School to Watch
Posted on 05/08/2015
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Lonnie B. Keller Middle School is among only 11 exemplary middle schools in Texas to be named Schools to Watch by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform.

The Schools to Watch program recognizes high-performing middle schools that are academically excellent, developmentally responsive and socially equitable. The school accomplished this level of performance by establishing norms, structures and organizational arrangements that have helped the school achieve excellence.

“Keller Middle School will join a network of select schools, which will lead by example to encourage excellence in the middle school grades,” Richard Carter, representative of Schools to Watch said.

Selection is based on a written application that required schools to demonstrate how they met evaluation criteria.

To celebrate the announcement, students, staff and administrators filled the entire cafeteria for a pep rally. Excitement built as music played and students, teachers and administrators performed choreographed dances.

“We are truly honored to have received this recognition,” Principal Diane Phelan said. “Our students, staff and community worked together to make this amazing accomplishment possible.”

Darrell Morrison, Pasadena City Council Member issued a proclamation on behalf of Mayor Johnny Isbell declaring May 7, 2015 Lonnie B. Keller Middle School Day. He also encouraged students to get involved in their local government saying “one of you could be the next mayor, council member or state representative.”

Schools are recognized for a three-year period and must repeat the application process in order to be considered for the Schools to Watch state re-designation. The schools vary in size from several hundred to several thousand students and represent urban, suburban, and rural communities.

Launched in 1999, Schools to Watch began as a national program to identify middle-grades schools across the country that were meeting or exceeding 37 criteria developed by the Forum.

In 2002, the Forum began working with states to replicate the Schools to Watch program as a way to introduce the Forum's criteria for high-performance and identify middle grade schools that meet or exceed that criteria.

The 2015 Texas Schools to Watch:

Cedar Valley Middle School, Round Rock ISD
Cockrill Middle School, McKinney ISD
Hillwood Middle School, Keller ISD
Keller Middle School, Pasadena ISD
McMEans Junior High, Katy ISD
Sam Houston Middle School, Marshall ISD
Valley View Middle School, Ysleta ISD

O. Henry Middle School, Austin ISD
Gene Pike Middle School, Northwest ISD
Shallowater Middle School, Shallowater ISD
South Texas Preparatory Academy, South Texas ISD


From l to r: Keller Assistant Principal Dan Eble; Schools to Watch Representative Richard Carter; Keller Principal Diane Phelan and Keller Assistant Principal Kim Powers.