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HMS Named Renaissance School of Distinction

Horizon Middle School is the recipient of the Renaissance School of Distinction award, selected by program developer, Jostens.

HMS Award group shotHMS is one of only 11 schools in the nation to receive the recognition for their deployment of the Renaissance program, which provides a results oriented framework built on positive school climate and culture.

“It goes to show the commitment that our teachers on our staff have to kids, celebrating kids and being here for kids,” HMS Principal Dustin Horras said. “We’ve made a lot of changes here over the last eight years to make sure we’re focused on the right things.”

Jostens recognized HMS at a small ceremony Wednesday, Sept. 15, in the Panther library. Jostens Renaissance Program Ambassador Dr. Phil Campbell praised HMS for their platinum-level performance, identifying HMS as a role-model Renaissance campus. 

Horras thanked the HMS staff for creating the welcoming and opportunity-rich learning environment that is the result of years of hard work.

"We want kids to care about what they are doing," said Horras. "We’ve seen tremendous growth in that over the past few years. Kids care about how they do and want feedback [such as]: How can I improve my grade? How can I get my name on the Renaissance board? That’s been great for us."

HMS Mariah HofmannGuest speakers at the ceremony included, Sean Dorsey, Sand Creek Zone Leader, who spoke about the work taking place at HMS utilizing the Renaissance framework, and Mariah Hofmann, HMS eighth-grader, who spoke about the impact of the Renaissance program from the student perspective.

According to Jostens, schools of distinction see measurable results in academic performance and student engagement in environments where every student belongs.

To take it one step further, HMS is at the Platinum Tier, which only eight schools reached. To reach this level, schools had to not only implement strategies in 14 separate areas, they had to describe and document these successes through a rigorous application process. HMS is now a key contributor to the Renaissance community, showing other schools how they can have a similar impact on their culture. These efforts would be worthy of recognition in any year, but to achieve this status during a pandemic year shows true grit and commitment to student success.

The Jostens Renaissance School of Distinction designation was created to celebrate those schools that, in collaboration with the Renaissance community, are making a positive impact on school climate and culture through executing the Renaissance formula: RESPECT + RECOGNIZE + REWARD + REINFORCE + RELATIONSHIPS = RESULTS.