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posted: 5/24/2012 3:10 PM

Superintendent counts down top 10 highlights in District 54

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  • Maria Barba, a bilingual teacher at Douglas MacArthur Elementary, was surprised in her classroom with the Golden Apple Award earlier this month.

      Maria Barba, a bilingual teacher at Douglas MacArthur Elementary, was surprised in her classroom with the Golden Apple Award earlier this month.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

By Ed Rafferty
Schaumburg Township School Dist. 54 superintendent

Pursuing excellence. Setting high goals and doing whatever it takes to achieve them. Continuously looking for ways to improve our teaching. Keeping students at the heart of any decision. Helping students become the best they can be.

These are the beliefs and commitments that have enabled District 54 to have another banner year. Ensuring student success is what we are all about! Our staff and students have received awards at both the state and national levels. Student learning is at an all-time high. Our district is debt-free and continues to have a balanced operating budget.

This year's Top 10 highlights:

10. District 54 received the Sunny Award from a national nonprofit organization dedicated to government transparency. Only 214 of more than 6,000 government agencies were honored as doing an exemplary job of proactively disclosing information to their taxpayers.

9. Seven "Those Who Excel" awards from the Illinois State Board of Education honored the outstanding contributions of our staff and parent volunteers. Recipients are Erin Knoll, Gail Mehlan, Meg Kwak, Alissa Rendall, Kathy Pritscher, Jolanda McGinn and the Frost Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports Team.

8. Margaret Mead Junior High School staff and students, along with the Elk Grove and Schaumburg-Hoffman Estates Rotary Clubs, opened a food pantry to serve families in need across the school district.

7. Two additional open enrollment options were added to the district's already impressive list of school choice options. Campanelli Elementary School offers a Mandarin Chinese Immersion Program and Hoover became our first Math and Science Academy.

6. The Illinois Positive Behavior Interventions and Support Network recognized 15 District 54 schools for their success in implementing a schoolwide approach to proactively addressing student behaviors.

5. District 54's many years of sustained success continue to gain national attention. The book, "Getting District Results," written by our own Nick Myers, outlines how our district was able to move from being good to now a great school district. Leading educational experts say this is the best book ever written on how to implement the Professional Learning Community on a districtwide basis.

4. Frost Junior High School was one of only three middle schools in Illinois to be named a 2011 National Blue Ribbon School based on overall academic excellence and the support they provide to ensure learning at the highest level.

3. Maria Barba, one of our third-grade dual language teachers, is a 2012 Golden Apple Award winner. Nominated by a parent, she was selected from more than 500 teachers because she exemplifies the highest standards of the teaching profession.

2. Students were recognized with awards in the Math Olympiad, the National Fluid Power Challenge, the PTA Reflections program, the National History Day competition, the Illinois You Be the Chemist Challenge, as well as in competitions in energy education, music, Spanish language and Japanese language.

1. We have had another record breaking year in student learning, with 13 of our schools receiving the Illinois Academic Excellence Award. We are happy to report that 94.6 percent of our students met or exceeded state standards in math and 90.8 percent in reading. These results place District 54 in the top 9 percent of school districts in Illinois.

Thank you, students, parents and staff, for all that you have done to make this another outstanding school year in District 54.