Voigt, Union Hill and Forest North named Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase schools

Voigt, Union Hill and Forest North elementary schools received the Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase SchoolsTM award for the 2016-2017 school year from the Flippen Group. Only 53 schools were selected for the national award out of 10,000 schools that host the program across the country.

According to the Flippen Group, Capturing Kids’ Hearts is a transformative initiative for campuses to become an emotionally safe and relationally connected place for students, staff and parents to come alive with a love for learning. As part of the Capturing Kids’ Hearts program, teachers and staff learn processes to connect students with their peers and adults on campus and create classrooms where students are excited to enter and learn every day.
Union Hill Principal, Kim Connelly said the campus’ journey began two years ago in search of a way to ensure campus staff could successfully build strong, positive relationships with students, families and each other.

“Since implementing Capturing Kid’s Hearts, we have seen an increase in leadership capacity of staff and students,” Connelly said. “We have school-wide expectations, language and processes in place. This consistency has played an important role in our positive, successful culture throughout the building.”

Forest North sent its first group of teachers to training in the summer of 2009. Mary Decker, Forest North assistant principal, said since that time, Capturing Kids’ Hearts has become the backbone of the school with relationships at the center of every classroom.
Capturing Kids’ Hearts campuses were considered for these awards based on the following criteria: nomination based on observation, level of implementation of Capturing Kids’ Hearts processes by all staff as measured by online surveys and data demonstrating that Capturing Kids’ Hearts has made a significant improvement in attendance, discipline, climate/culture, or academics.

“Social and Emotional Learning is a process for helping students develop the fundamental skills for success in life,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Flores said. “I am proud of the commitment Voigt, Union Hill and Forest North have shown to educate not only the minds of students but to foster their sense of well-being.”

A Flippen Group team visited each nominated campus to gather data, and to interview students, teachers, administrators, and parents. They used a matrix of key measurements to gather information during the campus walk-through. Finally, an additional survey was conducted to collect feedback regarding the perceived climate and culture of the campus and its conduciveness to learning. Following this visit, the selection team reviewed all data and selected the campuses to receive the Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase Schools awards.

Through the Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase Schools awards, the Flippen Group recognizes and celebrates campuses that go the extra mile each day, building an environment where students and staff feel safe and connected. The Flippen Group believes unsung heroes who produce exemplary outcomes in schools and pave the way for other schools to follow, need and deserve recognition for a job well done.

Cheryl Hester, principal at Voigt Elementary school said partnering with the Flippen Group and implementing Capturing Kids’ Hearts has transformed the life of her staff and students and she hopes to be an example to other schools hoping to Capture Kids’ Hearts.


Forest North Elementary


Union Hill Elementary

Voigt Elementary

Group photo of Voigt staff