GUEST COLUMNIST: Accolades for the class of 2013

by MATT SCHOEN

SUPERINTENDENT, DELANO PUBLIC SCHOOLS

End of Year Accolades

I congratulate the graduating class of 2013. This is always a special time of the year to celebrate successes of our students, especially our seniors.

The commencement exercises that took place this past Sunday reminds us as an educational community where the tradition of academic excellence will carry on past a student’s high school experience. Even though graduation tends to be viewed as a high school event, it truly is a culmination of the work that our students, staff, parents, and community have done to prepare that graduating class for the next step in their education.

Speaking of the high school, I am honored to announce that DHS has been ranked as one of America’s Best High Schools by Newsweek publications. The 2013 ranking highlights the best 2000 high schools in the nation with the criteria of schools that have proven to be most effective in turning out college and career ready graduates. I congratulate our students, staff and parents for playing an integral part in being named one of America’s Best High Schools. Specifically, U.S. News and World Report, along with Newsweek, compile its list of best high schools by analyzing student performance on state proficiency tests, number of advanced classes taken, performance in advanced classes, graduation rate, and percentage of college-bound students. Congratulations again to Delano High School on maintaining a tradition of excellence in preparing our students for their future endeavors.

I am excited to share with you a special project that our high school principal, Dr. Steve Heil, is working on with our city and business community leaders. SciTech is a collaboration between the school district, city government and local businesses to promote 21st century skills and STEAM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. This program will engage our community, students, and all resources available to promote and foster 21st century skills that will create an opportunity for students to explore a multitude of pathways to be college and career ready. The main premise of SciTech is to help promote, retain, attract and grow Delano’s education institutions, business community and community-at-large. All three entities of this program will plan a SciTech week which will include a festival to be held on Thursday, April 10, 2014, that will showcase the STEAM entities in all three arenas that include business, community and education.

It is hard to believe that we are on the verge of completing another successful academic year for our students. This year students, staff, parents and community members continued to work and support Delano Public Schools. It is my firm belief that we are a stronger community due to the fact that the partnerships that exist in our community supports an excellent school system for our students. Have a great summer!

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