This summer, Payson Education Center (PEC) earned accreditation from the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCACASI).
Prior to receiving accreditation, students graduating from PEC could not transfer credits to college.
“It means something to (the PEC students) that their diploma ... is not dismissed by other schools,” said Peggy Miles, principal of PEC.
The process took dedication and focus. Miles started the accreditation process the year after she started as principal of the school.
“This has been the biggest challenge of my life,” said Miles.
In 2005, Gila County Superintendent of Schools Linda O’Dell founded the Gila County Regional School District, which includes the Payson Education Center, the Globe Education Center and the San Carlos Education Center.
The mission of PEC is: “To provide a dynamic learning environment by addressing individual student needs; supporting academic, personal, social and readiness skills for life-long learning; through collaboration with parents, community partners and pertinent service providers.”
As the school progressed and became more successful, O’Dell wanted to add more structure to the school. The next logical step was the accreditation process, said Miles.
“I saw and now they (the students) know we are a viable educational option in Payson,” said Miles.