Blackwell Middle School receives national award for TSA

by Charles Gerian

Blackwell Middle School has received national recognition for commitment to empowering students as BMS has been named as a “distinguished school for STEM and career learning programs” per a release from Project Lead The Way (PLTW).

Blackwell Middle School announced last week that it has been recognized as a PLTW Distinguished School for providing “broad access to transformative learning opportunities for students through PLTW Gateway.”

Blackwell is one of just 148 middle schools across the U.S. to receive the honor from the non-profit, which serves PreK-12 students and teachers in schools across the U.S.

“It is an honor to be recognized on the 10th year of teaching Project Lead the Way,” Keri Widener said from BMS, “I love what I do and know that it is changing the lives of many students in my classroom.”

Widener is the GTT Instructor and TSA Advisor for Blackwell.

The PLTW Distinguished School recognition “honors schools committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs,” according to Widener.

To be eligible for the designation, Blackwell Middle School had to meet the following criteria during the 2017-18 school year: offering at least one PLTW Gateway unit at each grade level; having at least 50 percent of the student body participating in said class; and having 25 percent of students advancing to high school participate in two or more units during their middle school tenure.

“It is a great honor to recognize Blackwell Middle School for their commitment to students,” said Vince Bertram, President and CEO of PLTW in a statement, “They are a model for what school should look like, and they should be very proud of ensuring students have the knowledge and skills to be career ready and successful on any career path they choose.”

For more information about PLTW’s recognition program, visit

For more information on Blackwell Middle School’s PLTW Gateway program or to set up a school visit, contact Kari Widener at 580-363-2100.