Here at Rocky Mountain Jr High we would like congratulate our Principal Mrs. Nicole Miebos on being a reciepient of the Huntsman Award for Excellent in Education. She is an amazing leader and we appreciate everything she has done for Rocky Mountain Jr. High.
Below is the nomination letter for Mrs. Meibos:
It is our distinct pleasure to nominate Mrs. Nicole Meibos for the 2017 Huntsman Awards for Excellence in Education. Since becoming principal of Rocky Mountain Junior High in 2011, Nicole has implemented major initiatives to improve student learning, augment teacher effectiveness, and acquire resources and personnel to ensure 21st Century learning in our school. She is a leader with integrity and vision who is not afraid to challenge the status quo for the benefit of the entire school community.
Nicole has ample experience in the field of education. She began her career as a special education teacher and has also worked as a junior high school counselor and high school assistant principal before coming to Rocky Mountain as head administrator. At RMJH she oversees the education of about 1060 students, 45 teachers, and other various staff members. Her contributions are innumerable.
Mrs. Meibos has initiated the following interventions to increase student success at Rocky Mountain Junior High: Back on Track: Grizzlies for Graduation credit recovery program, Flex Time intervention, remediation and enrichment, Homework Lunch for students with missing assignments, Success 101 class for struggling 9th graders, Response to Intervention/Child Study Team, Schoolwide Tier of Interventions, hiring of a student advocate, two math aides, the addition of two study hall labs, and an increase in accessible technology for students and teachers alike. The success of these programs is astounding.
- After two years of implementation, the credit recovery rate increased from 69% to 95%.
- Students participating in Success 101 have seen a 93% decrease in the number of F’s earned since the program’s implementation.
- With the institution of the intervention programs, RMJH has seen an overall decrease of 60% in the number of failing grades from 2013-’17 and a 66% decrease in the number of students leaving RMJH off track for graduation. That’s 94% on track!
- Since Nicole’s arrival at RMJH, 7 classroom sets of Chromebooks and an additional lab of 36 desktop computers has been added to provide students with resources to enhance learning and prepare them for college and careers. Also, every classroom is equipped with Smart Boards, Wi-Fi access hubs, projectors, and document cameras.
In the area of instructional leadership, Nicole has made a significant impact in curriculum and teacher collaboration through the implementation of effective Professional Learning Communities (PLC), professional development, and co-teaching with regular and special education teachers working side by side. Teachers in all departments have identified target standards and have developed common assessments for the benefit of students. The result of these changes are myriad.
- SAGE scores in math increased from 41% to 46% from 2015-17. Secondary Math 1 scores increased from 37.4% to 57%, and every department overall saw a 6% increase in SAGE performance from 2013-14 to 2015-16.
- There has been a 65% drop in the number of failing grades earned by special education students participating in co-taught classes.
- AP Human Geography, Honors English and Honors math were added to course offerings to increase rigor and college and career readiness.
While it is true that Mrs. Meibos has had an incredible impact on the academic component of RMJH, she deserves equal commendation for the difference she has made in the entire school culture. During the 2014-’15 school year, and again in 2016-’17, Nicole introduced a school climate intervention program called Rachel’s Challenge, which encourages students to look for the best in others and in themselves. As part of this, the FOR Club (Friends of Rachel) was established to sponsor monthly activities promoting kindness and service for others, and the Character in Action Award was instated to honor students who exemplify ideal character in each month’s character topic of focus.
- Since implementing Rachel’s Challenge, there has been an astounding 65% drop in the number of bullying and harassment incidents at Rocky.
- Under the direction of FOR Club, students and staff at RMJH collected 2,913 pairs of new socks for the homeless in an event we called Socktober!
- RMJH donated 3,609 items of non-perishable foods to the Utah Food Bank.
- In December 2016, as part of Rachel’s Challenge, our student body donated $10,260 to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and are in the running as top fundraising junior high in the Utah Chapter.
- Numerous acts of kindness and self-awareness have been sponsored and displayed: kindness chain, Dream Tree, notes of validation, Kindness wall, and inspirational posters.
Nicole cares about kids. Every endeavor she undertakes at Rocky is for the benefit of students now and in their futures. She knows all students can be successful and leads her faculty in encouraging students in order that they garner grit, never allowing them to give up. The message at Rocky Mountain Junior High is that we refuse to allow students to fail, and Nicole is our leader.
The following comments from parents, colleagues, and kids are a clear indication of Nicole’s leadership:
- Mrs. Meibos (aka the coolest person at Rocky) has one of the hardest jobs, but she is very good at it. Without her our school wouldn’t be the same. She is such an amazing principal.
- Nicole is the best administrator! Her leadership has taught our faculty that the students are the most important piece of our focus, and that as much as education is about education, it's also about creating positive relationships with the students and helping them learn life skills and grit to help them be successful in LIFE, not just in the classroom. The students at RMJH are her number one focus, and that is very evident. If Nicole is ever transferred to a different school, I would gladly apply for a job at that school just to keep working under leadership.
- It's pretty special that this highly "at risk" child would invite you into her circle of trust- to me, that speaks to your ability to build trust under duress and buoy up a struggling student during, perhaps, one of her most critical moments of need. I love how you've immersed your school culture in Rachel's Challenge and provided a lifeline to so many kids! Awesome work!
- Mrs. Meibos is an exceptional principal. She is committed to providing a quality educational experience in a safe, respectful environment. She welcomes parent and community involvement. I especially appreciate her dedication to doing the right thing, even when change may be initially unpopular. I wish she could be at every school!
Nicole Meibos truly makes a difference. She has the courage to do what is best at all times—even when it is the difficult thing to do, yet she has the heart to show how deeply she cares and the sense of humor to put people at ease. It is not uncommon to find her commiserating with a student who has lost a parent through death or to catch her intently listening to a student’s worries about school. This compassion is not limited to students. Nicole exhibits this same level of thoughtfulness with the adults in the school no matter their concerns: classroom-related problems, family issues, health complications. She is available to listen, to advise, to laugh.
Rocky Mountain Junior High is truly a better school because of the leadership of Mrs. Nicole Meibos. She has vision. She has heart. She has integrity. In our eyes, she is deserving of a 2017 Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education.