That's what a group of administrators and educators from the Bridgeport Exempted Village School District can call themselves.
The District Leadership Team, comprised of 13 members, captured the top prize in a world competition. It won the International Alliance for Invitational Education Association's Inviting School Award.
T-L Photo/KIM NORTH
THE DISTRICT Leadership Team of the Bridgeport Exempted Village School District recently captured the International Alliance for Invitational Education Association’s Inviting School Award. The award will be presented in Hong Kong, China, on Nov. 14-16. Pictured are team members, front row from left, Technology Supervisor Lisa Clark and teachers Bethany Decker, Sharon Liston, Jason Hanson and Beth Albaugh. Back row from left, Board of Education President Don Cash, Superintendent Ted Downing, Middle School Principal Kami Sabinski, team spokesperson Amy Vavrock; Leslie Kosanovic and High School Principal Rob Zitzelsberger. Not pictured are, Rudy Vavrock, Enis Eoff and Kathy Jones.
"We were the only school in the United States to be selected," said DLT spokesperson Amy Vavrock. "Somebody had told us about the program, so we decided to go ahead and try it.
"We were already doing a lot of the things that were called for," she added. "We had an entire day of in-service as a whole staff."
She said there was one component that made Bridgeport unique.
"The thing that made us special was the entire district was involved and not just a building or two."
The DLT used a power-point demonstration to get its point across. That demonstration will be shown to the board of education at its monthly meeting in July, which is set for the 31st at 7 p.m.
"We met with students, parents and staff members," Vavrock added. "We had a wide variety of people to really get a feel for what we do here. We had so much stuff involved that we had to leave some out"
So just what is the IAIE?
It all began in 1982 when a dozen educators and related professionals from throughout the United States and Canada met at Lehigh University with Drs. Betty Siegel and William Purkey. Together, the group founded the IAIE as a non-profit organization.
From these 14 charter members, the group has expanded to more than 600 professionals representing 15 countries.
Because the IAIE is dedicated to democratic principles, its mission is to enhance life-long learning, promote positive change in organizations, cultivate the personal and professional growth and satisfaction of educators and allied professionals, and enrich the lives of individuals personally and professionally.
Invitational Education, a theory of practice, maintains that every person and everything in and around schools and other organizations adds to, or subtracts from, the process of being a beneficial presence in the lives of human beings. Ideally, the factors of people, places, policies, programs and processes should be so intentionally inviting as to create a world in which each individual is cordially summoned to develop intellectually, socially, physically, psychologically and spiritually.
The award will be presented at the IAIE's 30th anniversary convention from Nov. 14-16. However, here's the catch, the convention is being held in Hong Kong. No one had been appointed, or volunteered, to attend the conference yet.
In order to officially become a member of the alliance, Bridgeport High School Principal Rob Zitzelsberger had to become a member.
"It's a great honor for the district and those involved," Superintendent Ted Downing praised.
Team members, in addition to Vavrock, are Lisa Clark, Enis Eoff, Kathy Jones, Rudy Vavrock, Beth Albaugh, Sharon Liston, Bethany Decker, Jason Hanson, Leslie Kosanovic, Kami Sabinski, Zitzelsberger and Downing.
North can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org