FORNEY, Texas (Forney Independent School District) — April 14, 2021, four Forney ISD campuses were surprised with the announcement that they had been selected as Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase Schools for the 2020-2021 school year.

North Forney High, Forney High, Smith Intermediate, and Rhea Intermediate were all chosen for the honor. The award celebrates campuses across the nation that go above and beyond in building a safe and welcoming environment where students are relationally connected and eager to learn. As of 2020, there were 130,930 recorded number of K-12 schools in the U.S., according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). A total of 555 schools were nominated for the national award, and only 325 were chosen as National Showcase Schools.

For over three decades, Capturing Kids’ Hearts has brought tools to thousands of campuses nationwide that equip teachers, coaches, administrators, and district leaders to implement transformational processes focused on cultivating student-connectedness, improving school culture, and fostering social-emotional learning. These processes are designed to directly impact every aspect of a school community. Capturing Kids’ Hearts is proud to recognize campuses implementing these processes with measurable results that are making a difference in the lives of students.

Smith Intermediate

“Smith Intermediate students and staff members have worked incredibly hard to strengthen connectedness, build meaningful relationships between each other, and to develop student leaders across our campus. We started the CKH process over a year ago and were abruptly halted due to the pandemic quarantine. It was our collective goal as we came back together at the beginning of this year to persevere through the times of Covid and establish foundational Capturing Kids Hearts practices across our campus,” Smith Intermediate Principal Courtney Rodriguez said. “I am immensely grateful to our staff, students, and family partnerships for supporting our processes and helping us achieve this incredible goal. I’m so proud of these accomplishments and can’t wait to see the growth that Smith will experience as we all continue working together to build on and grow our CKH practices into the future.”

Rhea Intermediate

"I am so proud of the Rhea staff for helping students and parents every day feel welcomed and cared for,” Rhea Intermediate Principal Dr. Barbi Nack said. “Even with the challenges we have faced this school year, the staff has stayed focused on student success, growth, and well being, while truly being outRHEAgeous every day!"

Forney High

“For the past 18-years, I have used Capturing Kids Hearts’ tenets both within the classroom as a teacher and now as an administrator. However, this is the first group of educators I have worked with that thoroughly embraced the virtues of CKH to their fullest extent. By meeting the lofty expectations of a CKH National Showcase Campus, we can build lasting relationships with our students,” Forney High School Principal Dr. Jonathan Campbell said. “Nowadays, more than ever, as educators, we are here to support our students with their educational pursuits and support their social and emotional well-being. Capturing Kids Hearts and the Flippen Group have helped provide us with the tools necessary to fully educate our students fully.”

North Forney High

“Being named a CKH National Showcase Campus is one of the many ways North Forney continues to reach True North. I am so proud of our amazing teachers, staff, and administrators! This achievement will only fuel continued success at North. The future is bright!” North Forney High School Principal Michael Jung said.

Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase School awardees are evaluated and selected based on survey and performance data from administrators, teachers, staff, and students. Decreases in discipline referrals as well as positive campus culture and climate are common themes among the data from awarded campuses.