SAN ANGELO, Texas — San Angelo ISD is celebrating Lincoln Middle School after the school received the national distinction of “Texas School to Watch.”

Lincoln Middle School was awarded this title by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform and the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP).

A “Texas School to Watch” is a campus that has consistently moved to meet nationally endorsed criteria for high-performing middle schools; one that has made marked progress in meeting these criteria, including measurable gains in the academic achievement of all students over time, and remains committed to continuous improvement.

Lincoln Middle School has joined 55 other campuses out of the 4,491 total middle school campuses across Texas in receiving this honor.

“It’s a huge honor for the North Side to have been recognized for this state and national distinction. For the last four years my staff and I have worked hard to provide our kids with the best education possible, even with huge barriers like COVID and virtual learning,” said principal Joe Gandar. “The drive behind our success has been love. We strive to build relationships with our kids, build trust, and help build a healthy mindset in our kids so that they are more prepared for high school and life. Middle School is where kids begin to find themselves, and it can make or break students. We have the privilege to help build our kids up. We have high expectations for our kids, both academically and behaviorally. I feel we have the best kids in the district and the best staff in the district. National recognitions like this are not just handed out, they are earned. It is our duty to provide our kids the best middle school experience possible. We owe that to the people we serve, which is our kids and our families. I love my kids and staff with all my heart. This is for the whole North Side Community!”

Schools To Watch was first launched in 1999  as a national program to identify middle-grade schools across the country that were meeting or exceeding 37 researched based criteria developed by the National Forum. There are now 17 states which have trained Schools to Watch State Teams, with over 500 schools recognized across the country.