Stadalsky: Local schools named to the Illinois Honor Roll
By Kris Stadalsky email@example.com February 8, 2013 4:00PM
Second-grade teacher Katie Krempasky works with students in a literacy group at Walnut Trails, a Minooka Grade School District facility. Great teachers and willing students helped the school earn a state Academic Excellence Award three consecutive years.
Updated: March 12, 2013 6:09AM
We have some pretty awesome schools and pretty awesome students in this area. Despite the fact that state standards are increasing every year, several area schools have earned the Academic Excellence Award presented by the Illinois State Board of Education with assistance from Northern Illinois University.
The award places the schools on the Illinois Honor Roll, which means they have sustained high achievement over the past three years.
State board Chairman Gery Chico, in a press release announcing the honor roll for 2012, said “Behind each school’s success is an untold story of extraordinary passion and dedication on behalf of administrators, teachers, parents and students. We commend each school and hope local community members will also celebrate their local schools’ success.”
On the honor roll for 2012 in our Southwest area are Channahon Junior High and Three Rivers Elementary in Channahon; Walnut Trails in Shorewood, which is in the Minooka Grade School District; Nettle Creek Elementary in Morris; Coal City Intermediate and Elementary schools and South Wilmington Grade School.
Also on the list are Eisenhower Academy in Joliet, Nelson Prairie School in New Lenox and Walker’s Grove Elementary in Plainfield.
In all, 454 Illinois schools were given the Academic Excellence Award because 90 percent of their students met or exceeded state Adequate Yearly Progress standards in both reading and math.
Other awards presented by the state board are Spotlight Schools and Academic Improvement. To see the entire list, go to www.ilhonorroll.niu.edu.
In the case of educating young people in our communities, it really does take a village, so to speak. It takes dedicated teachers and administrators in the schools, tremendous support from the families and students who are willing and eager to put forth the effort to learn.
“It’s the team effort that has really impacted our achievement over the years,” said Walnut Trails Principal Kathleen Chesharack.
Walnut Trails has earned the award three years in a row, Chesharack said.
“As a principal it’s an honor, and it’s a tribute to the efforts of everyone combined. We are proud of the award.”
Channahon Junior High has also earned the award three years in a row, and Three Rivers School in Channahon has earned it five times, said Channahon Superintendent Karin Evans.
“Being a superintendent in a school district like this, you are educationally proud of what happens in the class,” Evans said. “I would also say thank you very much to our parents, it makes a difference that their priority is school and education, and we reap the benefits.”
In the schools, the key is consistent, well thought-out curriculum throughout the district and setting high achievement standards for the students.
Curriculums in the schools are constantly changing so that students are learning in the best and most efficient manner. Schools have to keep moving forward.
“It’s never finished,” Chesharack said. “It’s constantly a work in progress.”
So congratulations to our area schools and the students who made the state honor roll as well as the 624 schools statewide that earned an award in one of the three categories.
Reach Kris Stadalsky at firstname.lastname@example.org.