The Times West Virginian

Opinion

October 12, 2012

High expectations, teamwork lead way as county schools earn exemplary status

When it comes to education, high expectations and a collaborative effort lead to great achievement.

Strong evidence exists in Marion County, where five schools — East Dale Elementary School, White Hall Elementary School, Fairview Middle School, Monongah Middle School and Fairmont Senior High School — are among the 64 in West Virginia attaining exemplary status. Only the top 10 percent of public schools and career-technical education centers and programs in the state earn this recognition.

The Office of Education Performance Audits, which is under the West Virginia Board of Education but separate from the Department of Education, has been naming exemplary schools for 12 years.

“This is based upon a weighted index that looks at the proficiency of students in all schools in West Virginia in the areas of reading/language arts, mathematics and social studies,” said Dr. Gus Penix, executive director of the office. Attendance at the elementary and middle school levels and graduation rates at the high school level are also part of the process.

“These schools have worked extremely hard to see that the students are performing well,” Penix said.

Marion County Superintendent of Schools Gary Price believes there has been a tradition of excellence established in the local school system.

“It is always gratifying to see that we had a number of schools recognized as exemplary schools as we have had in the past,” Price said.

The leaders of the honored schools take pride in the accomplishment and spread the credit.

Fairmont Senior has been recognized for eight straight years.

“We are proud to represent the Fairmont Senior High School attendance area and our community as an exemplary school,” principal Chad Norman said. “Our teachers and our students and our parents have put a great deal of effort into student achievement.”

He also gave credit to the elementary and middle feeder schools and support provided by the Central Office of Marion County Schools and the Marion County Board of Education.

Fairview Middle School has achieved exemplary status three years in a row and six out of the past seven years.

“I’m very proud of what the students have done, and my staff,” principal Steve Rodriguez said. “It just shows the effort that the kids put into the test.”

The staff works to prepare the students for WESTEST2 throughout the year, Rodriguez said, noting that parental support is critical.

Monongah Middle School has been honored for two years in a row.

Principal Steve Malnick said Monongah Middle has high expectations for everyone, including the principal, teachers and students, to do their best. He praised the entire faculty for working together toward the common goal of giving the students the best education possible.

“It is a great community as well,” he said. “I’m happy to be here myself.”

East Dale Elementary has a tradition of earning exemplary status, said Rockie DeLorenzo, who joined the school this year as principal. He said the school has been successful because of the family atmosphere and the collaboration from all parties — the parents, teachers and students.

“Everybody works to achieve excellence,” he said. “It’s truly an honor, and the honor goes to the whole school.”

The exemplary recognition is another honor for White Hall Elementary, which was one of only eight schools in the state to be named a West Virginia School of Excellence this past year.

“I have witnessed excellent teaching,” said Karen Rhoades, who is in her first year as principal. “The students are always engaged. The teachers, they are really on task. The students here are such good students.”

She said White Hall Elementary has gotten a lot of support from the parents, the Parent Teacher Organization and the community.

“They make it work here,” Rhoades said. “It’s such a positive place.”

These schools set the bar high and rely on strong teamwork to meet their objectives. All involved deserve credit for the exemplary recognition — an honor that is earned and not given.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • COLUMN: Freedom of Information — if you can pay

    Several years ago, I made a Freedom of Information request to a local government agency. Within the five business days, as required by law, a packet of information was delivered to the office. I expected a bill, as most government offices have a charge that ranges from 25 cents to $1.25 per page for copies of the documents we request.

    April 20, 2014

  • The reassuring spirit of Easter: One of new hope and beginnings

    During the sub-zero and snow-filled months of winter, we maintained a spirit of hope that spring was on the way. It has now become a reality as all nature stretches and yawns and awakens once more to a new beginning. The fragrance of spring awakens our waiting nostrils, the budding beauty of new life brightens our eyes, and the reassuring idea of renewal stimulates our minds.

    April 20, 2014

  • Unsung heroes handling calls in emergencies are appreciated

    Thankfully, we live in a community where help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just by dialing three numbers — 9-1-1.
    During this week, which is recognized as National Public Safety Tele-Communicator’s Week nationwide, we need to remember that on the other end of that line are the men and women here in this county who are always there in case of accident, crimes, medical emergencies and any other catastrophic event.

    April 18, 2014

  • Message to ‘buckle up and park the phone’ is saving lives

    A figure that we haven’t seen that much in recent years is the highway death toll for a given period.
    Is the death toll up, down or just about the same as it was?
    The West Virginia Southern Regional Highway Safety Program has announced there were 325 highway fatalities in 2013, the second-lowest number on record.

    April 17, 2014

  • State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary

    Sylvia Mathews Burwell might not be a name with which most people are immediately familiar.
    For the past year, she has run the budget office under President Barack Obama.
    Prior to that, she served as president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program and later the Wal-Mart Foundation.

    April 16, 2014

  • Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better

    When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
    So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.

    April 13, 2014

  • COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable

    Instant.
    That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
    But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
    Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!

    April 13, 2014

  • Decision to be an organ donor can save lives

    Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
    So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.

    April 11, 2014

  • Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community

    Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
    Marion County is full of volunteers.
    They read to our youth.
    They assist nonprofit agencies.
    They serve on boards and committees.
    And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.

    April 10, 2014

  • Proposed school calendar lives up to letter and spirit of law

    West Virginia state law requires that students be in a classroom for 180 days.

    April 9, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads