CHS Achieves Gold Star Status
Laura Schuler, C-T City Editor, Chillicothe Constitution Tribune, April 28, 2004
Chillicothe High School has received yet another accolade from state education officials after the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced that the school was chosen as one of Missouri's 13 Gold Star Schools for 2003-04. This is the first time in CHS history that the school has received the prestigious honor.
"We are very pleased and honored to again bring this recognition to our district and community," Dale Wallace, R-2 schools superintendent said Wednesday. He added that CHS joins Dewey Elementary and the middle school as Missouri Gold Star School recipients. Dewey Elementary earned that honor in 1994 and Chillicothe Middle School was designated as a Gold Star School in 1995.
"This reflects the good leadership, dedicated staff and high achieving student body that is found at the high school," Wallace said, adding, "I hope the community takes a great deal of pride in this award and appreciates the hard work that is behind it."
According to Bob Levy, CHS principal, state education officials examined many aspects of the high school's programs and activities in determining if it met Gold Star School criteria. Specifically, Levy said that the school's continued improvement in MAP scores over the last three years, its minimal dropout rate, its special education program, the progress and development of its curriculum and its consistently high attendance rate were the primary factors which earned the school this latest statewide recognition.
Levy also noted that state education officials also consider the number and diversification of the school's extra curricular activities and how they "co-mingle" with community involvement. He said that the school's 4-year-old hunting and fishing club, and its leadership class (taught by Jeanne Lair) were positive additions to the school's curriculum over the past few years. Levy also said that next year, the high school will add a community service component to its curriculum.
Involvement in the school's upcoming community service program will not be a graduation requirement, but Levy said that students who finish the program successfully will be recognized at commencement ceremonies. He added that the program is designed to have participating students complete 40 hours of community service by the time they graduate from high school.
Chillicothe High School Assistant Principal Tony Perry hoists the No Child Left Behind/Blue Ribbon Schools Award high after accepting it from Dr. Mary Cohen (right), U.S. Department of Education, Region 7 representative, Monday afternoon. The award, presented during a school assembly, was one of only seven awarded in the state and one of only 256 presented to schools across the country in recognition of their respective improvements and achievements. Also pictured (from left) is R-2 Superintendent Dale Wallace, CHS principal Tom Anderson, Alan Franklin, assistant to Cohen.
C-T Photo/Laura Schuler
The Gary Dickinson Performing Arts Center exploded into applause Monday after the Chillicothe High Schoolstudent body, their teachers and administrators learned that the school had received The No Child Left Behind/Blue Ribbon Schools Award.
"This school has received recognition because this school has made progress," Dr. Mary Cohen, U.S. Department of Education, Region 7 representative, explained in presenting the honor during a school assembly. She added, "There is a huge focus here on teaching methods and you (the students) have a set of marvelous teachers who are dedicated and focused in making sure you do well -- and you have done well," she told the audience.
The No Child Left Behind/Blue Ribbon Schools Award is a federal program that recognizes high performing schools and schools that have achieved dramatic academic improvement while serving a large proportion of disadvantaged children. Upon receiving the award, a jubilant Tony Perry, assistant high school principal, hoisted the plaque high above his head. "We did it!" he exclaimed, smiling.
Now a Blue Ribbon School, CHS is among only a handful in Missouri and only just over 250 in the nation on the Blue Ribbon Award list. Specifically, Perry explained that Chillicothe was one of eight schools in Missouri nominated to receive the award and one of seven in the state to receive it. The high school was among three middle schools and high schools in Missouri earning the national recognition and is listed among 255 other Blue Ribbon schools across the country.
Perry also added that only three of the 914 secondary schools in the state received Blue Ribbon awards. "So, less than one-third of 1 percent of all the secondary schools in Missouri got this award -- and we did!" Perry said.
In presenting the award, Cohen gave the students a brief history lesson on federal government's growing involvement in education over the years, beginning with the Supreme Court's decision in 1954 which resulted in the integration of schools. She then talked about the launch of the first Russian satellite, Sputnik, and the effect it had on education in America. "The United States began to panic because our children were not doing as well in math and science as we thought they should," Cohen explained.