Liberty Bell Junior-Senior High School

Principal, Deborah DeKalb

Deborah DeKalb

Liberty Bell is an award-winning junior high and high school that prides itself on high levels of student achievement and character development. The school has won a host of awards, including being named a “school of distinction” by the state superintendent’s office six years in a row and the recipient of the Achievement Award for improvement in overall excellence and extended graduation rate for three years. The school was also a silver medal winner in 2009 and a bronze medal winner in US News & World Report‘s Best Schools of 2010. US World and News Report also acknowledged Liberty Bell as the 10th best school in the state in 2014.

Liberty Bell has a seasoned, caring staff who take time to get to know each student and how he/she learns best. With just 270 students in grades 7-12, we offer personalized learning at its best. More than 80 percent of our teachers have master’s degrees or above, while four teachers have National Board certification.

We offer a wide range of courses, including welding, Chinese, video productions, Spanish, child development, construction trades, AP English, AP History, Physics and more. About 80 percent of the Class of 2014 pursued post-secondary education.
We strive to be a school where students think critically about the world and their place in it, while focusing on what they can do locally to make a difference.

We have spent the last year exploring the International Baccalaureate (IB) as a framework for our district. Liberty Bell is investigating the Middle Years Program for grades 7-10. Staff and administrators visited several IB schools and invited teachers from Thomas Jefferson High School to share their experience working in an IB school. Fourteen teachers, Drew Simmons, Anne Anderson and I traveled to Vancouver BC last July to attend a three day International Baccalaureate workshop. IB promotes a global perspective dedicated to providing rigorous academic and social excellence. By encouraging students to work toward their greatest potential, the aim of the program is to develop life long learners who will contribute to society in meaningful ways. in which the aim of the program is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world. What it means for us is that our staff will collaborate to develop units of study with a strong emphasis on relevant, challenging issues to meet the needs of all our students.

The Methow Valley School District is currently seeking accreditation for Liberty Bell and the Independent Learning Center through the Washington State Association of Educational Service Districts under the guidance of Dan Roache. The leadership team consists of David Aspholm, Carrie Fink, Robin Nelson Wicks, Amy Knob, Drew Simmons with Deborah DeKalb leading the process. The team’s task is to collect evidence that supports the Methow Valley School District Strategic Vision. As part of the accreditation process, Liberty Bell and the staff at the Independent Learning Center have identified two areas of focus that include the development of “A System of Exceptional Teaching and Learning” and “Innovation and Flexibility” throughout our system.  An outside team will visit Liberty Bell and the ILC on May 5 to assess the self-evaluation process and determine recommendation to the state board of education for accreditation.