Two Catholic schools win Governor’s Achievement Awards
Above, left: Marlene Clayton (center), lead teacher for St. Joseph School, Ellinwood, holds the Governor’s Achievement Award that was presented Nov. 20 by Superintendent of Schools Bill Biermann (third from left). Also pictured are school faculty, and St. Joseph Parish pastor, Father Chuck Mazouch. Above, right: Karen Moeder (far right), principal of Holy Family School, Great Bend, celebrates with the children and faculty of the school after the school received the Governor’s Achievement Award for the second straight year.
Two Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Dodge City were honored Nov. 20 with Governor’s Achievement Awards, which honors top performing schools in the state.
St. Joseph School, Ellinwood, and Holy Family School, Great Bend, were presented their awards in special ceremonies Nov. 20 by Superintendent of Schools Bill Biermann. They are among only 42 elementary schools in all of Kansas that received the honor, which places them in the top five percent of all the schools in the state.
“As a whole, all seven of our schools collectively demonstrate the outstanding education that our schools provide,” Biermann said. “We, by far and away, achieve at the highest level, and when accompanying that with the religious education component that our students receive, it is hard to beat. It demonstrates an overall focus on student learning for all students and the caring approach of our great teachers and administrators.”
To receive this award, schools must have achieved the Standard of Excellence in both reading and mathematics for 2009. Additionally, the school must have made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in both reading and mathematics and one additional measure in 2009. For elementary schools and middle/junior high schools that measure is attendance, and for high schools the measure is graduation rate. Additionally, the school must have been among the top five percent of schools in both reading and mathematics on the 2009 state assessments at its respective level, i.e. elementary schools, middle/junior high schools, or high schools.
Marlene Clayton, Lead Teacher at St. Joseph, said she was “excited beyond belief. I’ve hardly been able to keep a thought in my head all week. I’m just really proud of how hard the kids and the faculty worked to get our best scores. I’m just thrilled to death. Our students really do put forth their best effort and this award is proof of that.”
“I am thrilled; ecstatic; humbled!” said Holy Family principal, Karen Moeder, the day before the school was presented the award. “This is our second year in a row to receive the award. Tomorrow’s celebration is a complete surprise to our students.
“We felt very good about our preliminary test scores last spring already, but you just never know.”
Moeder asked her teachers what they thought of receiving the honor for a second year, and received the following responses:
“We pray in school: We pray before our tests; we turn it over to God and let Him help us.”
“We have a higher grading scale.... Students know that in order to score high, you have to give it your best.”
“We set our expectations for our students very high. Our students know what is expected of them and they attain it.”
“We have great parents who instill values of good morals and work ethic in their children.”
“We don’t give up.... We work on things until we get them.”
“We work as a team.... This award doesn’t come because a few students do well on the tests, everyone has to pull their weight and give their best efforts. Students truly do cheer each other on and give support to each other, not just in the testing time, but all year long. We are a family in lots of ways.”
Throughout Kansas, 41 elementary schools, 12 middle/junior high schools, and 17 high schools qualified for the award.
Other schools in southwest Kansas to win the award include: Dighton Elementary School; Jennie Wilson Elementary School, Garden City; Plymell Elementary School, Garden City; Stafford Elementary School; Claflin Jr./Sr. High School; and Minneola High School.