From the desk of Bovina Elementary’s Miki Ginn

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 22, 2015

Common Core and PARCC standardized testing have been in the forefront of the news, social media, and political circles and are all of the buzz lately.  Yes, our district along with schools all across the state and nation will be testing students over the next couple of months.  However, testing students is only a small portion of what we do on a day to day basis and there is only so much you can evaluate from a standardized test.  My challenge to politicians, lawmakers, policy makers, and anyone who questions public education is to take time out of their day to visit schools and classrooms to see the “real” work that is happening each and every day, speak with the educators who are actually in the trenches day in and day out, and to see the “real” challenges schools are facing.  Schools challenges are not just a “school” challenge.  They are a societal challenge.  After all, It takes a village to raise a child.

On any given day that you walk the halls of Bovina Elementary School, you will see evidence of leadership practices and service to others.  These are things that can’t be measured by test scores.  As a school we have placed a strong emphasis on learning leadership skills that will help our students become successful citizens in our community long after they have left the hallways of the school.  Students and teachers alike are constantly learning, speaking about, and practicing how to become better at what they do by way of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.  Those habits are:   Be Proactive, Begin with the End in Mind, Put First Things First, Think Win-Win, Seek First to Understand then to be Understood, Synergize, and Sharpen the Saw.  All students in the school have leadership roles, work through activities that teach them the habits, and have leadership notebooks.  It is amazing to see students who know how to greet adults properly with a smile and firm handshake, are comfortable speaking in front of an audience, who can sit down and articulate their personal mission statements, personal and academic goals they have set for themselves, along with their plans for accomplishing those goals, and can share their academic data.  These are life skills they will need to become successful individuals and they are learning this as early as age 5.

Service to others is another very important focus for BES students.  Every school year, each grade level chooses a monthly service project that they are responsible for.  Students coordinate the entire project from beginning to end.  BES students have donated thousands of dollars to various agencies such as United Way, Warren County Children’s Shelter, American Cancer Society, Vicksburg-Warren Humane Society and donated thousands of items to The Salvation Army, Vicksburg-Warren Humane Society, Kimmy Melton Food Drive, and Operation Christmas Child.

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Academic Achievement is a top priority at Bovina Elementary School, but educating the whole child is of the utmost importance.  Our kids are so much more than a test score.  BES has been blessed with dedicated individuals to educate the children and a very supportive community to help us achieve that task.

Miki Ginn is principal of Bovina Elementary Schoool and can be reached by email at