Martins Ferry Ayers Elementary School, just a few weeks back, received a major Ohio academic honor. It was named a School of Promise by the state board of education.
The Ferry school now has local company in that elite category.
Buckeye Local High School Principal Coy Sudvary received notification that his school has also been designated a School of Promise. It is recognition that only 163 schools achieved on the Local Report Card for the 2011-2012 school year.
Sudvary has now been Buckeye Local High principal for three years. He is obviously making a positive difference, as the school did not meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for three consecutive years, prior to Sudvary becoming principal.
In the 2009-2010 school year, Buckeye met 5.5 indicators on state report card and had a performance index of 88. In Sudvary's first year as principal, Buckeye Local improved to 9.5 indicators and raised the performance index to 97.4 and met AYP for the first time since the 2006-2007 school year. In his second year, the school scored 12.5 indicators for the first time ever on the report card. The school also met AYP for the second consecutive year and had a performance index of 98.9.
In qualifying for the School of Promise, Buckeye Local has drastically improved its scores for our sub-groups (economic disadvantaged and students with disabilities). Sudvary touted his staff for working extremely hard to improve test scores through short-cycle assessments, online benchmark tests and teacher-based teams.
"As principal, I am very proud of the academic gains we have achieved. Over the last two years the staff has worked very hard to improve student learning and improve teaching methods," Sudvary said. "Earning the School of Promise award is a direct reflection of the junior and senior classes who have worked very hard academically to achieve this honor for our school. We are very proud of our students and staff."
Sudvary received a letter from the Ohio Department of Education, noting his schools achievement. It read in part:
"Dear Principal Sudvary:
Buckeye Local High School proves every day that failure is not an option. Because of that, it is my honor to recognize you, your students, teachers, administrators and the families in your building being named a 2012 School of Promise.
Your school is in a prestigious group of 163 schools that achieved this honor on the Local Report Card for the 2011-2012 school year. Strategies by you and your staff to close the mathematics and reading achievement gap for students who represent a range of socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds are working, and we hope you will share them with other Ohio schools.
The Ohio Department of Education plans to spotlight your school as a strong example of what is possible when students, educators, parents and community members come together and believe that all students can succeed. Please extend my gratitude to all those who shared in your school's success.
Congratulations once again on this achievement, and best wishes for continued success. Sincerely,
Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction
Ohio Department of Education."
SSG JESSE A. Ault was killed in action on April 9, 2008 in Iraq. The local serviceman's heroism is being memorialized by naming a portion of Interstate 70 in Belmont County the "Staff Sergeant Jesse Ault Memorial Highway."
The Ohio General Assembly enacted legislation to make the tribute possible. The ceremony will take place April 9, 2013 at 1 p.m. at the Exit 208 eastbound entrance ramp in Morristown.
The unveiling of the sign marks the fifth anniversary of SSG Ault's death. A reception will follow at the Carnes Center.
Ault was a Tyler Consolidated High grad. He has family members who live in western Belmont County.
UNION LOCAL has lost one of the premier basketball coaches and class acts in the OVAC. Drew Greenwood tendered his resignation recently as pilot of the Lady Jets. Drew accomplished a great deal in a short amount of time, especially when you factor in he inherited a program on life support. Drew has few peers in his ability to teach defense. After a few-year hiatus, we hope Drew gets back into the coaching ranks.
WE TIP our caps to Martins Ferry Mayor Paul Riethmiller. He generously fed the Martins Ferry basketball team at his expense at First Ward North on the eve of the Purple Riders' regional contest.
THE BELMONT County Council of the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary is preparing to make its annual goodwill mission to the Chillicothe Veterans Hospital. This year, the auxiliary trip is planned for Thursday, April 18. The ladies are looking for donations to take to the veterans currently in the hospital's care. Items such as crew socks, t-shirts, shorts, tablets, pencils, stationary, pens, candy, gums, chips and Slim Jims are helpful. The auxiliary will also accept house slippers, stamps, caps, new puzzles, toiletries and good clothing. No dry-cleaning clothes will be accepted.
As always, monetary donations will be accepted. Donations may be dropped off to Betty Kotson at 4598 Noble St. in Bellaire. She may be reached at 671-3059. New to this year's collection is the auxiliary is accepting ladies' slacks and blouses, as well as new underwear.
MORGANTOWN TRINITY is looking to restart its football program in big fashion. The Warriors have hired former WVU and NFL star Jeff Hostetler as their head coach. Hostetler quarterbacked the New York Giants to a Super Bowl championship.
DISCUSSION ABOUT the fate of the Bellaire Toll Bridge resurfaced this past week. Benwood officials now doubt that the bridge's owners will ever follow through with demolition plans. I agree. The city is now hoping the W. Va. Legislature will fund the project. That is highly unlikely, reinforcing what I have said for years: We will never see the Bellaire bridge demolished in our lifetime.
WHEELING JESUIT cross country standout Luke Holubeck has earned USTFCCCA All-Academic honors Division II. Holubeck's cumulative grade point average is 4.0 The junior from St. John Central recently helped the Cardinals to a Top 10 finish at the NCAA Atlantic Region meet with a 25th place finish and a time of 32:05.80.
OHIO UNIVERSITY is on the short list of beautiful collegiate campuses. I had not been in Athens for about a decade, so it was enjoyable trekking to Ohio U. for the Martins Ferry regional boys' basketball game.
Kapral may be reached at bkapral@timesleadero nline.com