LISBON - It has been a very good month for McKinley Elementary School.
First, the school was honored for achieving long-term academic progress by the Ohio Department of Education, only one of 37 in the state to earn such a distinction. Second, a donation from the Lisbon Eagles will enable the school to provide $100 in clothing vouchers for 25 needy families.
McKinley Elementary was recognized by the state as a High Progress School of Honor for improving academic achievement by scoring in the top 10 percent of schools in terms of gains in reading and math proficiency tests over the past five years. McKinley was the only school in the county and Mahoning Valley, for that matter, to earn the distinction.
"It's quite an honor and well recognized and deserved," said Lisbon Superintendent Don Thompson, speaking at Tuesday's school board meeting. The school principal during the period was Helen Otto, who was named earlier this year to the new position of curriculum director.
The new principal, Dan Kemats, reported the Eagles recently donated $2,500 to McKinley Elementary to spend as they see fit, and, after conferring with the staff, it was decided to use the money to directly help students with their personal needs. The money will be used to purchase $100 vouchers from Walmart, which will be given to 25 needy families with students attending the elementary school. The list was compiled with the help of teachers, and Kemats said the money can only be spent on clothing and shoes.
The Eagles also donated $2,106 to the junior-senior high school, and Principal Joseph Siefke said they will use the money to purchase a new scoring table for the gym.
Kemats, Siefke, Thompson and board members thanked the Eagles, which was recognized for their donation during a halftime ceremony at the first home game of the varsity girls basketball team.
Kemats also reported 75 percent of third grade students taking the reading proficiency test under the state's new third-grade reading guarantee program reached or exceeded the level. Passage is required before a third grader can be promoted, and students can take the test again in the spring and in the summer, and officials expect 90 percent will have passed by then.