It has always been a pleasure and a privilege to come to work each day and see the impact that our administrators, staff, students, parents and volunteers have not only on each other, but also on our community. Each spring is met with a flurry (hopefully not the snow kind) of activities and events.
As a district we have excelled again. We recently received top rankings in two prominent publications, U.S. News and World Report (#10 in Ohio) and The Washington Post (#15 in Ohio). These prestigious designations are something that do not come easily and I am extremely proud of our collective efforts. We have also received the Ohio Department of Education’s Excellent with Distinction ranking and have earned the Excellent honor for the 12th year in a row. On the environmental front, we have earned an Energy Star Rating as a part of our energy conservation program. We are also planning to unveil our new website by the beginning of our next school year.
For added safety we have modified some of our school building entrances by relocating the entry door “buzzers” to the outside of the building and instituted a drop off area in the school building’s air lock for parents to bring forgotten items. The Board has also purchased video cameras equipped with sound for every bus in our fleet and drivers have assigned seating on the buses for students.
I want to congratulate our district Excellence in Classified and Teaching award winners this year, Maggie Cooke and Gayle Lewis. We are truly lucky to have such dedicated staff members in our midst. Our AHS staff hosted four International Scholars, one each from Uganda, Philippines, Brazil and Uganda. The mutual learning from this program is always interesting and important. Connie Hilston and Mike Roberto attended the Teachers for Global Classrooms Program’s Global Education Symposium and Connie will travel to Brazil this summer. The Aurora Schools Music Department has been recognized by NAMM, a national music organization, as one of the "2013 Best Communities for Music Education." This national honor was only given to 307 School District Music Departments across the country. There are so many staff accomplishments it is hard to list them all here. You can find more staff highlights throughout this Your Schools issue.
Our district also proudly graduated 233 seniors on May 30, 2013 and we wish them the best of luck in all that the future holds for them. Congratulations to all of the seniors that earned a whopping combined total of $4,854,252 in scholarship money this year! This year our Beta Club members supported the Pinwheels for Prevention Campaign by “planting” pinwheels in the police department front lawn.
Our art department had 38 Gold Keys and 33 Silver Keys along with three Gold Portfolio winners in the Northeast Ohio Scholastic Art Awards. The Gold Key Winners were Kristen Hirter, Erin Oulton (earned overall “Best of Show”) and Cydney Parr. April Nenandal and her Science Olympiad team placed second at the regional competitions and headed to Columbus for the state competition. Congratulations to our Excel TECC students for their fantastic achievements: Nicholas Barnoski, Tyler Flynn, Danielle Lasky, Molly Lukehart, Brandon Slechta, Amber Steinberger, Kenneth Tyler, Anthony Vella, and Katy Yanda. Our athletic department can boast they had four football players and one baseball player sign their Letters of Intent on their respective signing days. The Little Shop of Horrors musical and The Real Story of Little Red Riding Hood and The Ever After were highlighted by some amazing talent.
This has been yet another high achieving school year for our district. I want to thank everyone whose hard work and dedication make our achievements possible. Looking forward to our 2013-14 school year, if this past year is any indication, we have many more great things to accomplish together.6/6/2013