Well, another school year is coming to an end, and it has been quite a year for the Aurora district.
A few weeks ago, U.S. News & World Report magazine rated Aurora High No. 1 in Northeast Ohio and No. 6 overall in Ohio. That's just one of a bunch of recent accolades earned.
Last fall, AHS was one of three schools in Portage County to receive the Ohio Department of Education's Momentum Award for its performance on the 2015-16 report card.
The Momentum Award recognizes schools for exceeding expectations in student growth for the year. Schools must earn straight As on all value-added measures on the report card. The school or district must have at least two value-added subgroups of students, which includes gifted, lowest 20 percent in achievement and students with disabilities.
Also during 2016-17, Leighton School was named a National Blue Ribbon School, based on its overall academic excellence or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
Graduates from AHS and local teachers also did the local district proud.
A couple of many such examples were AHS grad Dr. Jim Vaca Jr. claiming the middle school teacher of the year award in the Orange school district, and1983 grad Byron Spruell being named president of league operations for the National Basketball Association.
And Leighton teacher Dr. Keri Stoyle won a Martha Holden Jennings Foundation Master Teacher Award, for which the district received $7,500 to benefit students.
The district triumphed at the polls on May 2, when voters overwhelmingly approved a 5.9-mill additional operating levy, which should keep it healthy financially for a few more years.
On the athletic fields and courts, highlights included the Greenmen girls basketball team winning its first league crown in 90 years, the football team winning the Suburban League title and competing in the playoffs for the 12th straight year, and the baseball and cross country teams winning league championships.
The girls country country team also won the district crown and qualified as a team for the state meet for the first time.
There were many other honors earned by local students -- in art, music and other academic areas -- so many that it's impossible to recap all of them here.
Many outstanding AHS seniors will graduate May 25, and I wish them well in their future endeavors. If tradition continues, many will go on to excel in college and in their future careers.
As you walk across the stage at Parkside Church, reflect on your dozen years of being taught by some very talented teachers. And no matter where you wind up, be proud of your Aurora roots and come back and visit when you can. We're certainly proud of you.
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4189