Twelve Reasons that CCS is Blessed!
By Rod Rock, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools
As we prepare for the holiday season, there are countless reasons to be thankful. I ask you to please join me in giving thanks to the people of the Clarkston Community Schools--our staff, board, volunteers, parents, administrators, and students--for these top twelve recent fiscal, service, academic, athletic, and technical accomplishments.
1. The district achieved a balanced budget, through its fiscal conservatism, collaboration with bargaining groups, and reductions in expenditures. We owe a special thanks to our employees who are contributing significantly toward health care, have had freezes in pay for several years, and have experienced pay cuts.
2. Through collaborative processes, the district accomplished more than $1 million in newly generated revenues via innovative partnerships with private and parochial schools.
3. In collaboration with Independence Township, the district established Clarkston Television, bringing enhanced learning opportunities to students and information to the community.
4. Our co-curricular clubs and teams have achieved remarkable success this fall, including our state championship football team, the marching band, the volleyball team, the boys’ soccer team, the girls’ swimming team, the boys’ tennis team, and many others.
5. The district has refunded bonds, saving taxpayers more than $15 million in taxes over the next 22 years.
6. One of our students, Sean McNeil, accomplished National Merit Scholar Semi-Finalist designation. That means he was in the top 3% of the approximately 1.5 million American high school students who applied. Lynn Gordon, the media specialist at Andersonville and Independence Elementary Schools, was recognized by the Michigan Association for Media in Education group for making significant contributions to the profession. Kyle Hughes, a teacher at CHS, was appointed to the National FIRST Robotics Board. Teachers Chas Claus (boys’ tennis) and Kelly Avenall (volleyball) were both named coaches of the year in Oakland County. Many other CCS educators and students have achieved similar levels of excellence! Congratulations!
7. Juniors at Clarkston High School accomplished the highest ACT composite scores in a seven year period.
8. This year, our Academic Service Learning team will provide countless opportunities for our students and staff to serve the greater good. Over 5,000 CCS students will give to our community, region, state, nation, and world throughout the year. This is truly the spirit of Clarkston!
9. The district implemented readers, writers, and math workshops at the elementary levels. These processes enhance student’ achievement through teacher professional training and student engagement.
10. Just last year, CCS became the first school district in the world to host a Harvard University Project Zero conference for all teachers in the district. More than 800 educators from six continents attended. Clarkston is now known as a leader, globally, in building a Culture of Thinking.
11. The Board of Education has agreed to purchase a new student information system.
The system is web based and will be available 24/7 at home, in our schools, and on mobile devices. It will allow students, parents and staff to communicate and verify that every one of our students is getting the support they need to succeed.
12. The district served as a national leader in energy efficiency. Nine of our school buildings have received Energy Star certification. Clarkston High School was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as one of just 78 Green Ribbon Schools, nationwide.