MSES, BJHS win state-wide awards
Gus Wegner and Connie Wright were told to attend the Feb. 12 Board of Education meeting with members of their staff, without knowing why.
Supt. Paul Dorathy had a surprise waiting for the two district principals.
"I had no idea what to expect," said Wegner, Marion Spring Elementary School principal. "I had met with Mr. Dorathy the Friday before the meeting and he said he wanted to invite me and my staff to the meeting. I said 'may I ask why?' He said 'I'm not going to tell you.' That's all he said."
Early in the school board meeting, the surprise announcement came. Baldwin Junior High School and MSES received the Governor's Achievement Award for their performances on the 2006 Kansas State Assessments.
The Baldwin schools were only two of 74 in the state that received the awards.
"I think it shows how hard the students and staff have worked to achieve excellent scores on the state assessments," BJHS Principal Connie Wright said. "It is always nice to be recognized for hard work and effort. It's very exciting and a wonderful award for the school."
Wegner was also thrilled to receive the honor.
"I was quite surprised at how well we had done and that there was such an award," Wegner said. "It was a great award for Marion Springs."
To receive this prestigious award, schools must have achieved the Standard of Excellence in both reading and math on the 2006 assessments, made Adequate Yearly Progress in both and been in the top 5 percent of schools at their respective level. Another measurement is attendance for elementary and junior high schools and graduation rate for high schools.
There were 44 elementary schools, 12 middle/junior high schools and 18 high schools that received this first-year honor. BJHS and MSES were the only schools in Douglas County to be honored.
"This is a really big award," Dorathy said at the school board meeting. "This is a lot of work. Most districts didn't have any schools, so we are very fortunate to have two schools in this district."
The 2007 state assessments begin Monday. Both Wegner and Wright agree that the recent awards are motivation for the students taking the tests this spring.
"It's a real motivation tool," Wegner said. "I told the students about it last Wednesday and they were beaming. It was a nice ray of sunshine after the bleak winter we have had."