Symmes Valley Elementary celebrates excellence

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 28, 2005

WILLOW WOOD - Excellent. That one word created a lot of excitement at Symmes Valley Elementary School Friday.

Students, teachers, parents and the entire community came together to celebrate this excellence.

The Symmes Valley Elementary school held a celebration to celebrate their &#8220excellent” rating on its state report card. The school's gymnasium was packed for the event, with many giving accolades for the school's accomplishment.

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&#8220You know, I already knew you were an excellent school before it got stamped on that report card,” Teacher Becky Bowling said as she addressed the school. &#8220We were honored as a School of Promise a few years ago and we have been moving nowhere but up ever since.”

Along with cheers from the students, teachers and administration, the school received proclamations from the county commissioners, State Senator John Carey and Rep. Clyde Evans.

The school also received a congressional declaration from Congressman Ted Strickland.

&#8220I am very pleased and happy with the turnout and the results,” Principal Bob Harris said. &#8220We truly are a team. We work together.”

That &#8220team” consists of administrators, teachers, staff, PTO volunteers and others who work together to educate the students.

&#8220An excellent school is made up of excellent individuals and that's what we have here in the teachers, staff, students and volunteers,” PTO president Lena Pancake said.

The first graduating class from Symmes Valley was in 1962 - more than 40 years ago, Bowling pointed out in her address Friday morning.

She told the students they could be anything they wanted to be; that there were thousands of people who attended Symmes Valley who were out doing great things all over the world.

Some examples she named included a dentist, a past graduate in Dublin, Ireland preparing to graduate veterinarian school, Ohio University Southern professor Ella McCown and a Yale University professor of chemistry.

&#8220They are people who started out just like you,” she said. &#8220Excellent young people who will become excellent adults.”

Along with the academics, Bowling pointed out that the school is also a giving place.

Over the last few years, students have raised money for cancer patients, sent food items to New York after 9/11, raised thousands of dollars for victims of the tsunami, and many other causes.

Most recently, Bowling said, the students packaged more than 20,000 items for Hurricane Katrina victims.

&#8220We are proud of all the things you have done - and will do,” Bowling told the students.

Before the students were dismissed, a slide show presentation was given by science teacher Lance Humphrey. The show featured everyone from the school, doing various activities and ending with pictures of every student and teacher in the school.

&#8220I just wanted the students to be able to see what exactly goes on here because we get kind of caught up in the little things we are doing,” Humphrey said.

He said everyone works together to make the school excellent and he wanted to let the school see all those people. Humphrey said they know that no matter what scores the school receives, they know that the attitude and behavior of the students show they have an excellent school.

The students were excited about the rating as well and having a great time enjoying the celebration.

&#8220I'm proud to have an excellent school and good teachers,” sixth grader Brittany Baldwin said as she waited outside with her friend Krysta Thompson, who agreed.

&#8220I think we're all really lucky out here to have the teachers teach us what they do,” Thompson said.