The central quad of Turlock Junior High School was crowded with the school's student body of over 1,300 on Monday, who were joined by local and state dignitaries during a morning ceremony celebrating the selection of the local junior high school as a California 2014 School to Watch.
“This was a culminating event that celebrated the tremendous amount of work from our students and staff and we are honored to be recognized and celebrated,” said Dave Kline, principal at TJHS.
Provided by the California Middle Grades Alliance, which includes the California League of Middle Schools, the California Department of Education and other statewide organizations, the Taking Center Stage program uses a competitive review process to identify which middles schools serve as models of real-world success. TJHS is just one of 59 schools to have been chosen in the state for the award since 2003 — and the only junior high or middle school in the Stanislaus County to receive this recognition.
Turlock Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Sonny DaMarto, director of the Taking Center Stage program Dr. Irvin Howard, representatives from the CDE, among other dignitaries, were present on Monday to publicly recognize TJHS as a standout campus. While TJHS staff and students are enjoying the positive attention that the recognition brings, they are also constantly aiming to improve and refine programs and processes at the junior high, according to Kline.
“We will never say we have arrived, we are going to continue to strive,” said Kline.