Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Vacaville charter school earns Blue Ribbon recognition

Vacaville charter school earns Blue Ribbon recognition
By Nika Megino | Daily Republic | September 12, 2008

Buckingham Charter School senior Jon Andrews, 18, works on making a new trailer for the movie Ghostbusters during a video production class Friday morning. Buckingham was recently named a Blue Ribbon school by the U.S. Department of Education. Photo by Brad Zweerink

VACAVILLE - Taryn Carter can't help herself. Whenever she sees the students and teachers at Buckingham Charter Magnet High School, the principal is overcome with a sense of pride.

Those students and teachers are reason why the school has earned national recognition as a Blue Ribbon School. Buckingham Charter is one of 320 schools in the nation to be named a 2008 No Child Left Behind-Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.

'It's a true testament to all the collaborative efforts in creating a culture of high expectations and high standards,' Carter said. 'I feel very proud.'

The Blue Ribbon program honors schools that have continuously met state and federal targets on standardized tests.

With a capped enrollment of 425 students and a staff of 30 teachers, Buckingham Charter has a focus on high expectations, assessment-driven decisions and building relationships, Carter said.

'Having that small learning community allows us to get to know our students. We can quickly identify needs of each student,' Carter said. 'That relationship is so key. Sometimes it takes one relationship to make that school experience positive.'

Carter, 31, has worked at the school for 11 years, but the 2008-09 school year is her first as principal. She was appointed in July to replace Bob Hampton, who left to take a position in the Mount Tamalpais School District.

After serving as assistant principal from 2004 to 2008, Carter said her primary goal as principal to build upon the school's record of achievement.

'We can always improve,' Carter said. 'Even though we have all these awards, there's always that one student we can help.'

Carter also takes pride in the school's unique programs. Buckingham Charter has often been acknowledged for its visual media arts department, which includes a recording studio, video studio and labs filled with the latest Macintosh computers.

See the complete story at the Daily Republic online.