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BY Ben Jacobs
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The 2012-13 school year is well underway!  Academics are fully engaged and extra-curricular activities are at the halfway point of their fall seasons.  It certainly is amazing how quickly the beginning of the school year thrusts itself into the public consciousness.  It is undeniably an exciting time of the year.  Ellinwood public schools already have many significant accomplishments to show for this time.
The district has received its state assessment results and they are quite exemplary!  Continuing the rich academic tradition of the district, the 2012 scores reveal that many building-wide standards of excellence were attained and in some grade levels/content areas 100 percent proficiency was achieved!  These are very impressive accomplishments and ones for which the district can be proud.  This is a credit to the students and teachers for all of their diligence in making academic success the priority of the district.
The district is also proud to announce that Meredith Duling, EMS/EHS Vocal Music instructor, has been honored as a Kansas Horizon Award nominee.  This prestigious award recognizes second year teachers for excellence in their initial year of teaching.  Duling has worked hard in building a vocal music program that creates opportunities for students and maximizes the abilities of all kids.  She has also directed the fall EHS musical and volunteered her services in the Ellinwood Community Theatre.  Duling is a fine candidate for this honor, and the district wishes her luck during this process!
The school district is ready to begin a strategic planning process to help move the school forward in a unified, focused manner.  This process will be facilitated by the Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB) and then continued within the district.  The process will include all stakeholders including teachers, school staff, students, board members, and patrons.  It will culminate with a strategic plan that gives direction to the school district and serves as the philosophical foundation of all aspects of operations.  We are excited to begin this initiative and look for it to yield superior outcomes for the future.
We would like to give a special recognition to the September Eagle Excellence Award Winners Andrea Everhart and Katie Revell.  They are the first grade teachers at Ellinwood Grade School.  They were recognized with this award for all of their hard work at the beginning of the school year.  They spent many hours beyond the duty day ensuring that the classroom environment would be ideal for all students.  This attention to detail is appreciated and represents the lengths the staff will go in order to make this the best district for kids.
Ellinwood public schools are proud of all that has already been accomplished this year.  The district is eagerly working towards even greater achievements for the remainder of the year.  Everyone affiliated with the district is working diligently and with a seriousness of purpose to meet the exemplary standards that have been created to best benefit our students.  Ellinwood public schools 2012-2013: Success Takes the Stairs.
Ben Jacobs is the superintendent of USD 355 Ellinwood School District.