Cobden Junior-Senior High earns recognition

Cobden Junior-Senior High School has been recognized by Solution Tree for its sustained success in raising student achievement.

The Union County school was recognized as a Model Professional Learning Community at Work. 

Cobden Junior-Senior High School was one of about 200 schools and districts in the United States and Canada to receive the honor.

Solution Tree notes on its website that since 1998, it has worked with eductors on their professional development needs. Its office for North America is in Bloomington, Ind.

The website explains that Solution Tree “delivers comprehensive professional development to schools and districts around the world. 

“Solution Tree has empowered K-12 educators to raise student achievement through a wide range of services and products including educator conferences, customized district solutions for long-term professional development, books, videos and online courses.”

Cobden Junior-Senior High School’s successful implementation of the Professional Learning Communities, PLC, at Work process was called a major contributing factor in the improved achievement of its students.

A news release which detailed information about the honor received by Cobden Junior-Senior High School explained that PLCs are schools and districts in which educators recognize the key to improved learning for students is ongoing, job-embedded learning for the adults who serve those students.

The “three big ideas” of a PLC call upon educators to:

•Focus on learning.

•Build a collaborative culture.

•Create a results orientation.

“I am so proud of this honor, proud of our faculty and staff and very proud to be a model PLC school,” Cobden Junior-Senior High School principal Crystal Housman said.

“We work very hard to ensure academic success for all students and it is nice to receive recognition for this commitment.”

Cobden teacher and PLC team member Nathan Emrick said the recognition “is such an incredible accomplishment for our school.

“We as a staff have worked diligently alongside our administrators to completely change the culture and focus of our school and it’s really nice to be recognized for that. I cannot wait to see what this opportunity to work with Solution Tree will bring for our school.”

School counselor and PLC team member Charlee Forson said: “It makes me so happy to see Cobden Junior-Senior High faculty and students’ efforts to encourage high levels of learning be recognized at this level.

“This proves, that as a small school, we can and are on the cutting edge of educational practice despite limited resources and the small school obstacles.”

Schools earn recognition based on strict criteria, including demonstration of a commitment to PLC concepts, implementation of the concepts for at least three years and clear evidence of improved student learning over that period.

Once measurable results can be seen, the school must explain its practices, structures and culture and submit its application for consideration by the PLC review committee.

Solution Tree notes that educators in the schools and districts which are selected for the recognition have shown a sustained commitment to helping all of their students to achieve at high levels.

They have been willing to alter the structure and culture of the organization to reflect their commitment. 

Recognized PLC model schools are listed online at, where they share implementation strategies, structures and performance with other educators who are interested in improving their schools.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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