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Chesapeake school honored

CHESAPEAKE — Teamwork, community, achievement, excellence — these were just some of the words spoken at Chesapeake Elementary School Wednesday morning.

Ohio Superintendent of Instruction Susan Tave Zelman was on hand to recognize the school for its designations as a “School of Excellence” and a “School of Promise.”

She quoted Aristotle and told the crowded gymnasium that their academic performance was a habit: “We are what we repeatedly do, excellence, therefore is not an act, but a habit,” she said.

It is the fourth consecutive year the school has been recognized as a School of Promise and the second year in a row as a School of Excellence.

“I want to offer my congratulations to each and every one of you,” she said. “You have made excellence a habit. You have accomplished great things with limited resources.”

Principal Jack Finch said several people have a part in the students’ education, but the one thing he or others cannot do, is to be the teacher who sees the student face to face every day.

“The teacher is the one who deserves the accolades,” he said.

Along with the students, faculty and parents, several officials and community leaders were on hand to offer congratulations to the school, including representatives from the Lawrence County Commission, the Chesapeake Mayor’s Office, the Chesapeake Board of Education and the Lawrence County Board of Education. Rep. Clyde Evans was on hand as was Superintendent Dr. Scott Howard and Jane Sonenshein of the State Board of Education.

“We’re here to today to celebrate what you have done,” Evans said as he addressed the student body. “But, you wouldn’t be sitting here if it weren’t for your teachers. Every time you get a chance you need to thank them for what they do for you.”

Many who spoke acknowledged that the accomplishments of the students were because of hard work, dedication and the support of the community as a whole.

“We believe it is truly a partnership to educate children in the school,” Howard said as he offered a challenge to the students for next year. “I look forward to having this celebration next year. Good job.”

Fourth grade students Courtney Hampton and Wesley Stephens both said they were happy to be a part of a School of Excellence and that they enjoyed attending Chesapeake Elementary School.

“We have really nice teachers,” Wesley Stephens said.

Parents and members of the PTO were also in attendance in support of their children and the school. Brenda Hawthorne, President of the PTO at the school said everyone is proud of the students’ accomplishments.

“The parents of our district are very proud of our students’ achievements,” she said.