On October 10, 2019, the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS) announced that Michael L. Smith, Director of the American School of Valencia, was selected as the recipient of this year’s Susan K. Nicklas Outstanding Volunteer Award. Presented annually, the award recognizes dedicated volunteers supporting the mission of the MSA to foster continuous school improvement through accreditation. The award was presented on behalf by Dr. Lisa Marie McCauley, the President of MSA-CESS.
MSA volunteers serve on accreditation teams that evaluate schools based on an established set of protocols and standards designed to reflect best practices in education. Since 2004, Mr. Smith has led teams of educators on a multitude of team visits to schools in countries such as Kuwait, China, Spain, Moldova, Malta, Luxembourg, Saudi Arabia, Germany and many other countries. Smith is also a member of the Middle States’ International Schools Advisory Committee (ISAC).
“This is a wonderful honor and I am grateful to the entire team of staff and volunteers at Middle States for the important work they do,” said Smith during the bi-annual Commission Meeting, which included the presentation of the award. “In Middle States, I have found an accreditation process that helps schools understand the impact they have on students while developing plans for continuous improvement. In the challenging field of education, accountability and high standards like these are critical.”