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North Salem School District Receives Magna Award

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. - Superintendent Ken Freeston announced Wednesday night during a board of education meeting that the North Salem School District has been named a first place winner of the Magna Award by The National Association of School Boards.

The North Salem district won in Category One, restricted to schools with enrollments of less than 5,000.

“We won this award for ‘Problem Solving For Life,’ and I want to thank Dr. Hibbard and the faculty and the students who were involved in the program,” said Freeston. “It’s a great reward for the community and for the board.”

Problem Solving For Life is the mission initiated by Assistant Superintendent Mike Hibbard about three years ago, designed to foster a lifelong habit of continuous learning and questioning, with emphasis on critical and creative thinking. 

Hibbard has said that imparting information to school students is not enough. Students must learn to think openly and broadly and independently. The program incorporated interaction between the school and many segments of the community.

“I want to thank the school board for their support of this program at a time when national and state attention is focused not on critical and creative thinking, but on minute details on standardized tests. I want to say thank you for not saying, never even hinting, ‘Can’t we get three more points on test scores?’” said Freeston.

School board President Katherine Daniels responded, “This is quite an honor. I’ll be thrilled to go and accept this award on behalf of the district."

Freeston added, “This calls for a celebration.”

The Magna Award is accompanied by a $4,000 scholarship. The award will be presented at the annual conference of the National School Boards Association in Boston the weekend of April 21-23.

For further details go to the North Salem Central School District website.

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