On Sunday November 23rd, Worthington Board of Education Vice President Marc Schare tweeted “Glad to be in a school district that treats every student as an individual with unique strengths, challenges and dreams” Since it’s Thanksgiving week I might change the word “glad” to the word “thankful” and Marc summed up my thoughts for this week perfectly. We have much to be thankful for in Worthington Schools. Here are two examples:
Last week, I was able to witness the Worthington Hills 6th grade students perform the classic musical “Annie.” The students, under the direction of Worthington Hills music teacher Kara Johansen, were flat out awesome! In order to provide opportunity for all students, Kara chose the lead of Annie to be played by two different students, one for the morning performance and one for the evening performance. I witnessed sixth grader Lauren Richner put on a stunning rendition. She, along with her classmates, and the fifth grade students who built and managed the stage, provided a high-quality performance that they will likely remember the rest of their life. (I was in one musical performance in my life. The 1985 6th grade play at Worthington Hills. Josh Ness starred in “The Music Man.” I was a traveling salesman. My one and only acting credit.)
I’m thankful that Worthington is a school district that values the whole child. A school district that expects progress from all students and success on state assessments, but also a school district that is willing to take significant time out of the school day so that students have well-rounded experiences such as the Worthington Hills Sixth Grade Musical.
Last night the Worthington Board of Education gave the green light for the creation of the Worthington Academy. The Academy Aspire program, under the leadership of Jeff Maddox, is being developed to provide an alternative educational setting for Worthington high school students that meets appropriate educational, developmental and social needs as well as providing connections with outside schools and agencies if the student desires. This personalized program will allow students to complete their high school studies with a blend of online and face-to-face education in a small, individualized setting.
I’m thankful that the Worthington Board of Education supports this work in developing an alternative to serve our students who are at-risk in our traditional high schools, and I’m thankful that we’ll have a program in place for next year that will better support our students.
We have a lot to be thankful for in Worthington Schools. These are only two examples from the past week. What are you thankful for this week?
-Trent Bowers, Assistant Superintendent