Central Wins Education Excellence Award
Posted on 04/22/2015


Panel of MASB judges selects Cougar University as a top program statewide.


PORT HURON, Mich. — The Central Middle School Cougar University program for 6th, 7th and 8th graders has earned statewide acclaim and an Education Excellence Award from the Michigan Association of School Boards. These awards “recognize programs in Michigan’s local and intermediate public school districts that positively reflect the innovative spirit in today’s schools and measurably improve student growth,” according to the MASB. Only 20 programs are chosen and scored on a point system, with one program receiving top honors for highest score. Principal Bethany Davis will attend an awards presentation in East Lansing with staff members on May 12 to be recognized and honored for this achievement. She plans on bringing lead grant writer, Jill Parrott, and the school improvement team of Bethany Duquette, Brett VanDrew, Jillian Ciesielski, and Barb Neal.

“This is a tremendous honor and it was truly a team effort,” said Davis about her staff’s success. The award focuses on the following areas: 

  • Demonstrating innovation and uniqueness
  • Expanding educational opportunities to improve students’ abilities to achieve the “Four Cs”: communication, creativity, critical thinking and collaboration
  • Raises student achievement, including measurable data
  • Uses resources efficiently and effectively


Central Middle School administrators and staff developed Cougar University to support academic interests and needs with intervention and extension courses. Davis explained that this, “Created time to nurture improved student behavior, math and reading achievement,” with three-year data trends showing improvement in all three target areas. MAP math assessment showed that Central students grew 7.1 RIT points in the first semester, which is the equivalent of more than a year’s growth. With reading, students advanced 7.6 RIT points, which equates to nearly two years’ growth in a single semester. Finally, there has been measurable increase in positive student behaviors.

"Cougar University would not be possible without the innovation, hard work and dedication of the entire Central faculty," said Davis.