AHS getting ready for graduation

Published 8:56 am Monday, June 6, 2016

David Krenz

Austin superintendent

The end of the school year is drawing near. We will be honoring nearly 300 graduates at this year’s graduation ceremony taking place Friday, June 10, at 7 p.m. This year’s Commencement Ceremony will mark the second year back at Austin High School and Knowlton Auditorium.

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We would like to recognize this year’s High Distinction students, students earning a cumulative GPA of 3.9 or higher throughout their high school years, who will also serve as student speakers at the ceremony. Congratulations to Aleesha Anderson, Sean Baker, Jennifer Bogle, Sarah Eich, Elizabeth Ettinger, Timothy Farrell, Joshua Irvin, Ryan Kempen, Madison Overby, Mara Overby, Keenan Schultz and Valentina Truong-Ferreira.

We would also like to honor 12 staff members who recently began or will be starting their retirement at the end of the school year. We wish to extend our congratulations and a special thank you to these individuals for devoting their careers to education, where they have touched thousands of lives during their more than 235 years of accumulated service to the district. Our 2016 retirees include Kari Bain, Margo Bissen, Val Buecksler, Jeni Lindberg, Jean McDermott, Sue Mitties, Cindy Owen, Rebekah Rasell, Dorran Rickert, Diana Ross, Cathy Sprau and Linda Waller.

As we look back on the past year, I would like to highlight several notable accomplishments. Please know this year’s accomplishments are not limited to those listed as there is not enough space to list them all. Some accomplishments include renovation and upgrades to Austin High School, Knowlton Auditorium and the Annex; the renovations at the Wescott Athletic Complex; the success of our I.J. Holton and Ellis Robotics programs with participation at the State, National and International levels; next step in our deployment of one-to-one computers at the high school for this year’s freshmen, national award from the Center for Digital Education and the National School Boards Association on being rated in the top 10 districts in the nation for use of technology; revamp and upgrade of the district web site; implementation of the “LAUNCH” program at Neveln; state recognition for I.J. Holton and Ellis for creating and use of innovative programs to address student behavior and character building activities and next steps in the implementation of AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) at Sumner Elementary and I.J. Holton to name just a few.

As always, we continue to move forward with innovative opportunities created by our staff in the district. We will be expanding the AVID program to Ellis, we will continue to grow our partnership with The MacPhail Center for Music to enhance the already outstanding music programs in the district, we will be implementing a Learning Module System (LMS) to better meet the needs of teachers, students and parents as they use their one-to-one devices and we are developing, with GeaCom, protocols to better communicate with all of our families in the district.

It is truly a wonderful and exciting time to be an Austin Packer, with our focus not just on the challenges our students provide but more importantly, on the gifts each child brings to school. We want to see how we can reach each and every child at their individual level so they can use their gifts to fly beyond today!