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CKH National Showcase School logo

Otsego Middle Schools is among four OPS schools that have once again received the distinction of being chosen as National Showcase Schools for Capturing Kids’ Hearts, a national program that puts the focus on relationships first, an Otsego focus.

"What an exciting zoom we had from CKH founder Flip Flippen and his staff to learn that we had achieved this honor again for the 4th year in a row," says middle school principal, Melissa Koenig.

There were a number of schools on that Zoom call when CKH announced that Otsego Middle School, Dix Street Elementary, Washington Street Elementary and Alamo Elementary were all selected as Showcase Schools for 2023. This is the 4th year in a row for OMS and Dix Street to receive this honor, the 3rd year in a row for Washington Street and the 2nd year in a row for Alamo.

“CKH has always held a special place in my heart so to be recognized as a national showcase school is quite an honor. Our staff embraces the concept and truly believes in relationships before rigor. CKH is not just something that we do, it is part of our everyday culture,” says Melissa Koenig, OMS Principal. 

The National Showcase Schools awards announcement states that “Capturing Kids’ Hearts recognizes and celebrates schools that go the extra mile each day, creating the social-emotional safety on school campuses that is conducive to learning.” This year, 468 schools received this honor.

For more than a decade, Otsego Public Schools has partnered with Capturing Kids’ Hearts for professional development across the district with a goal of training all staff members in this relationships-first program. “Through experiential training, expert coaching, and personalized support, Capturing Kids' Hearts equips professionals in K-12 education to implement transformational processes focused on social-emotional wellbeing, relationship-driven culture, and student connectedness,” states the CKH National Showcase Schools announcement. CKH began in 1990 by Flip Flippen with one school and has grown to serve 50,000 educators.

OMS staff picture in CKH shirts

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