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Celebrating a milestone

Ohio University Southern’s Academy of Excellence celebrated a birthday Friday.

About 300 people from all across the Tri-State celebrated the 30th anniversary of the program with a party in the school’s courtyard Friday afternoon.

“It really means a lot,” said Janet Wagner, OUS coordinator of community education. “It means the program is successful and that we’re making a difference in the lives of children.”

The two-week daycamp, which is open to students entering grades first through eighth, offers students a variety of academic classes.

Among those who came to celebrate the academy was Carol Allen, who coordinated the program for 15 years beginning in 1986

“It was one of the best things I’ve ever done,” Allen said. “I like working with the kids and the instructors. They’re all hands-on and sometimes a little off the wall, individuals who love to teach and learn.”

Allen’s daughter, Kathy Allen Schueren, was part of the first class to participate in the program.

Even though the Ironton native’s family lives in Indiana now, Schueren’s daughters attend the camp every year.

“I think it’s great,” Schueren said.

“I love that it’s at an academic setting on a college campus,” she said. “I want my kids to go to college, I want them turned on to education. It’s on this great campus. When we started, we were in the old high school. There’s not that many places that allow small children to come on campus.”

Schueren’s daughters, Paige and Caroline, say they look forward to camp every year.

“I like getting to meet friends,” Caroline, a fifth grader, said. “I just did my first performance in the theater.”

Paige, a seventh grader, took a class in fashion design and a science class.

“I love coming to camp,” Paige said. “I get to spend two weeks with my grandparents. It’s really fun seeing my friends. It’s fun because you’re learning stuff but you’re not being graded.”