ASCENSION PARISH, La. (BRPROUD) — Ascension Public Schools was awarded $50,000 from the National Insitute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) for “educator excellence and student progress.”

“Ascension Public Schools has consistently achieved high growth by unifying under a vision for excellence driven by effective educators and leaders at every turn,” NEIT Founder and Chairman Lowell Milken said. “The leadership, focus, and commitment to fidelity that Superintendent Alexander and his team demonstrate daily serve as a model for NIET partners, the state, and nation.”

The school system partnered with NIET, according to a news release, to improve teacher support and student outcomes. NIET says Ascension students scored among the best in state assessment tests in 2021, with a high percentage of students scoring mastery and advanced in all grades and subjects.

“Ascension Public Schools should be considered a national model for its continued commitment to putting educator excellence first,” said Co-President and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Barnett. “Their success is a testament to the importance of establishing strong foundational practices and continuing to build upon them. Ascension’s dedication to strengthening educator effectiveness has been sustained and deepened over time, and we are honored to be a longtime partner in helping them improve educator outcomes and student achievement.”

NIET reports Ascension Public Schools graduation rate increased from 88.7% in 2019 to 91.1% in 2020, which surpassed the state graduation rate of 84%.

“Superintendent Alexander has created systems of collaboration, support, and reflection to strengthen his team of educators, and in turn, advance student outcomes,” said Co-President Encalade. “NIET and Ascension have partnered together to build a strong cadre of teacher and school leaders that demonstrate excellence. We are proud to celebrate Ascension’s story and inspire other districts across the country.”