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Lyford, Texas gains Apple Distinguished status for its schools

Lyford School, Texas (Source: myRGV)

TMache elementary, middle school, and high school in Lyford, Texas, have been recognized by Apple in its Apple Distinguished School program.

Apple has been steadily adding to its list of distinguished educational establishments, which include the University of Kentucky and Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center. Including the new Lyford schools, there are currently 27 Apple Distinguished Schools in Texas.

"The schools have never gotten this distinction [before]," Mark Pinon, instructional technology specialist for the Lyford Consolidated Independent School District, told myRGV. "The district's elementary, middle school, and high school all achieved the recognition."

"This is the first time," continued Pinon, "and we were very excited and we were honored that every school in the district achieved the Apple Distinguished designation."

The schools applied for the status in 2022, and one of the qualifying requirements is that every student has at least one digital device each.

"The district chose Apple devices, not so much for branding but for the purpose and the efficiency of Apple devices," said Pinon. "We applied for Apple Distinguished schools, it's a program that supports school leaders."

There are currently just 888 Apple Distinguished schools, across 37 countries. Pinon believes Lyford's schools earned a place in the program by how "our core beliefs as a district align with Apple as far as inspiring the students to lead, learn and thrive."

"Lyford doesn't just see that their job as an educator ends once a student graduates," continued Pinon, "but what we do as a whole community of educators to make sure that those students succeed after they have graduated and into college."

As an Apple Distinguished School, Lyford gains access to what Apple describes as "a worldwide leadership network of like-minded peers." The schools will get to "engage with the Apple Education team," and get invited to related leadership events.

Schools worldwide can learn more apply for Apple Distinguished status online. The requirements include that leadership and faculty are proficient with iPad or Mac, and have an "innovative use of the Apple platform."