Preston Middle School named a 2019 Colorado Trailblazer School to Watch

Preston Middle School has for the second time been honored as a ‘Colorado Trailblazer School to Watch’ by the Colorado Association of Middle Level Education. This prestigious designation recognizes schools for academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity and organizational structure and processes.

The honor will be celebrated later this year at the National Schools to Watch Conference in Washington, D.C. 

“It’s no surprise to hear that Preston Middle School has been honored as a 2019 Colorado Trailblazer Schools to Watch, not once but twice now,” PSD Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education Scott Nielsen said. “Their team is doing amazing work to give all students unique student experiences that will help them succeed in high school and beyond. We’re so proud of what they, and all of our schools do, for kids each day.”

Preston teachers focus on the needs of individual students and look for opportunities to help them thrive, Principal Amy Schmer said. The school has a robust offering of extracurricular activities that allow students to pursue their passions, delve deeper into their studies and feel connected to their school community.

“Our teachers really pride themselves on building relationships and knowing what each student needs at any given time,” Schmer said. “Whether they need support or enrichment, or if they just need an arm around their shoulder and someone asking how they’re doing, our staff does a really good job at that.”

Selection for the Schools to Watch designation requires a written application and a site visit to confirm that the school has met the rigorous requirements for the award. 

“Preston demonstrates that high-performance is the result of intentional focus on the whole child. A personalized environment that cultivates student curiosity, creativity, social-emotional, and intellectual development results in dynamic schools where students thrive,” said Diane Lauer, State Director of the Colorado Schools to Watch program. “Preston excels in providing active, engaging, and rigorous student learning for every child. They have built a powerful, high quality middle school that is a model for our state.”

PSD has more schools with this designation than any other district in Colorado. Lesher, Polaris, and Wellington Middle School are also 'Colorado Trailblazer Schools to Watch.'