Superintendent’s Message – June 2014
On behalf of the Wayne Trace Board of Education, congratulations go out to the eighty members of the Wayne Trace Class of 2014. High school graduation has always been an important rite-of-passage in our great country, and the next several years following graduation are critical years in the lives of our young adults. As noted in last month’s newsletter, thousands of jobs just in the state of Ohio are currently unfilled due to a lack of properly trained and skilled employees. Many of these jobs require employees who have advanced computer skills, making it critical that men and women acquire the skills and training needed to compete for these positions. This year’s graduates will have the opportunities over the next several years to get the skills and training needed to fill these demanding, and often times high-salary positions. With that said, let’s all do our very best to encourage our young people to pursue higher education and to take this opportunity very seriously. College students who attend class on a regular basis are much more likely to earn a degree and develop the skills needed to be gainfully employed for years to come.
Speaking of computer use, we continue to put much effort into our long-range planning concerning our direction with technology. Just one year ago, we had made the decision not to pursue the 1:1 program. However, that all changed when our district was awarded nearly $500,000 through the Straight A Grant. As a result, we have reassessed our situation and will be moving forward with the 1:1 program in grades 7-12 starting in the fall of the 2014-2015 school year. Our technology department, under the leadership of Mr. Jerry Hessel and Mrs. JoEllen Sisson, has worked diligently in just a few short months to put our district in position to start the year with a computer in the hands of every student in grades 7-12. Additionally, we are gearing up to add over one hundred computers to the elementary schools with the long-term goal of having a computer for each student in grades 3-6 to use at school each day. Technology continues to move at lightning speed, and we are doing our best to move our students along at the current pace. Like all decisions, we will constantly evaluate the effectiveness of our technology program so that our students remain competitive in future school years.
In further curriculum news, we are very pleased to announce that our on-line learning lab, housed in the JH/HS building, will begin its second year this fall. This program began the current school year with seven students and will finish the year with twenty-six students. Additionally, over twenty college-bound juniors and seniors have taken nearly forty on-line, college-level courses this school year through the on-line lab. Other available courses through this format include ACT prep classes, credit recovery classes, AP classes, and perhaps even summer school and other make-up courses. Students enrolled in this program are full-fledged Wayne Trace students who are, or could become, eligible for co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. Students and parents interested in this option are encouraged to contact Mr. Dave Alt in the high school office.
Congratulations go out to our performing arts department for several nice concerts to close the school year. Band and choir concerts at the JH/HS, along with spring programs at our elementary schools, all brought out very nice crowds. Directors Miss Sharon Spinner, Mrs. Marie Moore, and Mrs. Ann Wieland, along with musical accompanist Mrs. Joni Wenninger, continue to bring fine music education to our students. Thanks also go out to the Wayne Trace Performing Arts Association for their continued financial assistance in the areas of music, performance, and drama.
I have the great honor of announcing the Staff Hall of Fame Class of 2014. First revealed to the public at May’s board of education meeting, Mr. Harold Sponseller and Mr. Jim McElroy will be inducted as the newest members of this prestigious group. Mr. McElroy, along with members of each of their families will be invited to participate in a formal ceremony prior to the start of a 2014 home football game. More information will be advertised as we get closer to this event. Once again, members of the committee would like to thank everyone who nominated a worthy staff member for this honor.
In closing, I’d like to express my gratitude to the Wayne Trace community for what I believe has been another excellent year serving as your superintendent. Educating our young people and teaching them to become productive citizens is a team effort with constant communication needed between school and home. For our young people to be successful, everyone must work together for the same goal.
As always, if you have questions or concerns about your child’s educational experience at Wayne Trace, feel free to contact your building principal or superintendent.
Stephen Arnold, Superintendent