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March 14, 2015

Avondale Elementary School District, Arizona, Receives TAP Award of Distinction and $10,000 Prize

District receives recognition for increasing educator effectiveness and student learning using the TAP System

Los Angeles, CA—Officials from Avondale Elementary School District #44, Arizona, were surprised with the TAP Award of Distinction. The award honors an organization for its commitment to the implementation of TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement in order to improve educator effectiveness. It was presented at the 15th National TAP Conference in Los Angeles, California, before more than 1,200 educators, policymakers and influential leaders in business and education. 

The honor comes with a $10,000 prize to be used toward the implementation of the TAP System. Avondale Elementary School District #44 Superintendent Dr. Betsy Hargrove accepted the award on Avondale's behalf.      

The TAP System is America's leading comprehensive educator effectiveness model that aligns teacher leadership, job-embedded professional development, meaningful evaluation and support, and opportunities for competitive, performance-based compensation. TAP has been on the ground for more than a decade supporting schools, districts and the states in their missions to strengthen instruction and student achievement. It is managed and supported by the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET). 

"I commend Superintendent Hargrove and Avondale Elementary School District #44 for its dedication to improving educator effectiveness," said Dr. Gary Stark, president and chief executive officer of NIET. "Their work is a powerful representation of how to fully embrace the elements of the TAP System and extend them into districtwide policy and practice."

Avondale Elementary School District instituted the TAP System districtwide in 2010 to create a culture of continuous improvement for teachers and students alike. In each school, faculty establish mentor and master teacher leadership positions; tailor weekly professional development to specific needs; implement an educator evaluation system centered around providing meaningful and detailed feedback and support for improvement; and reward educators based on increased instructional skills, student learning growth and taking on new roles.

These practices have resulted in solid value-added growth, meaning that Avondale's students are achieving a year's worth of academic growth or more compared to students in similar schools throughout the state. The district's fidelity to and success with the TAP System have led NIET to feature Avondale's lessons, professional development sessions and leadership team meetings, which have served as models for other TAP schools nationwide.

Avondale Elementary School District #44 is among six TAP Award of Distinction recipients this year. The others are Cross County School District (Arkansas), DeSoto Parish Schools (Louisiana), Osborn School District #8 (Arizona), Perry Township Schools (Indiana) and Somerset Independent School District (Texas).

Photos of the TAP Awards of Distinction presentation are available for download at

Initiatives of the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching are improving the educational experience for more than 200,000 educators and 2.5 million students. For more information on TAP or the 15th National TAP Conference in Los Angeles, CA, visit



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