KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Sarah Moore Greene Magnet Academy students and teachers saw their hard work pay off on Friday.

The school, is one of just two schools in the country, to be awarded a $5,000 National Institute for Excellence in Teaching School of Promise Award, for its marked improvement and implementation of the program’s initiatives.

Candice McQueen, CEO of NIET, made the surprise presentation at the school.

“Sarah Moore Greene is a community that continues to reach for that next level of excellence and show us what’s possible,” McQueen said. “These educators deserve to be honored and recognized, and we are grateful for the opportunity to continue to work and learn alongside them over the year ahead.”

Recipients of the $5,000 NIET School of Promise Award are selected by the Institute for their efforts in teacher instructional improvement; professional learning; creation of a culture of collaboration and reflection; and create systems that maximize the talents of teacher leaders and administrators to drive student growth.

NIET has been working with educators in Tennessee for the past decade, and the NIET rubric is the foundation for the statewide Tennessee Educator Acceleration Model evaluation system. After consecutive years of level 1 growth, Sarah Moore Greene earned level 5 in 2019, the highest growth rating possible in the state. 

Leaders are able to spend the money as they choose to support their educators. Since partnering with NIET in fall 2018, Sarah Moore Greene has improved student achievement and growth through implementing a new focus on job-embedded coaching and instructional excellence.

“I commend the outstanding work of our educators at Sarah Moore Greene and their commitment to making a difference in the lives of their students,” Knox County Schools Superintendent Bob Thomas said. “To be acknowledged with this special recognition is a testament to their efforts and to our great partnership with NIET.”