The Lester Davis School DAEP
Empowering Lifelong Learners
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Denton ISD Wins Strengths for Students Award
Gallup Strength Finders recently announced the winners of the 2022 Don Clifton Strengths for Students Award. The award recognizes colleges, universities and school districts that foster greater student wellbeing, engagement, and academic achievement through strengths. Denton Independent School District and the University of Tennessee were named the winners.
Leaders in Denton ISD realized that, although they have a strong history and culture, growth and innovation are integral to continued success. Recognizing that engagement is the key to growth, Denton ISD embraced Clifton Strengths as the way to achieve excellence.
“It is an honor to be recognized by the Gallup organization as the winner of the 2022 Don Clifton Strength for Students Award especially knowing how rare it is that a public school district is recognized with this honor,” said Dr. Robert Stewart, assistant superintendent of human resources. “I am proud of the work from our engagement team and even more specifically Mr. Scott Spaulding, our Strengths Coordinator who is on the front lines working with our students, parents, and staff to foster and support our students’ well-being, engagement, and academic achievement in helping them to understanding their individual strengths - focusing on what they do best every day. I cannot think of a better way to support our students’ social and emotional well-being at a time that is most critical in their development.”
Denton ISD integrates strengths with most of their 4,000+ full-time employees and students as early as fourth grade. All students in grades five through 12 participate in the program. This unique and innovative district has an entire department dedicated to the purpose of engagement, including Clifton Strengths.
Denton ISD's mission with strength finders is to contribute to the flourishing of their students and staff by envisioning them as the strengths-minded future of the workforce. Some campuses even choose to participate in strengths-based parenting workshops, helping parents learn their strengths and how strengths can positively affect their communication and understanding of their children.
Denton ISD has embedded strengths into numerous staff developmental efforts. In the district's "Grow Your Own" program, Denton took 10 teachers whose objective was to enter administration and classified them as full-time administrative interns on an at-risk campus. In addition to extra training, compensation, and education, the candidates were required to undergo private strengths coaching with a strengths coordinator. Of the 10 candidates, two-thirds opted to receive additional strengths coaching because of the value they found in it.
Additionally, Denton ISD instituted a strengths champions program so that every department and campus would have an individual who pursues the role of promoting and embedding strengths into the culture of their campus. These strengths champions attend workshops to learn more about strengths and to share their tactics and techniques with others.
Learn more about Gallup Education Insights on their website.