Friday, February 22, 2013

TJHS Students Shine Bright

One of the things that we take great pride in here at TJHS is the overwhelming number of students who perform at a high level on a daily basis.  Recently we have had a few students shine a little brighter than most.

The Ohio Middle Level Association recognizes one male and one female student each year as the OMLA Student of the Year.  This year, I am proud to say that 8th Grader, Keenan Kinnel has received this award for 2013.  Keenan is being recognized at the OMLA conference in Sandusky, OH on Feb. 22.  Keenan was nominated for this prestigious honor by Mrs. Jackson, Guidance Counselor.  This is only the second time that TJHS has had a student recognized for this honor.  Congratulations Keenan!

Two TJHS students were recently selected for the 2nd Annual Ohio State University Middle School Honor Bands.  7th Grader, Cynthia Stanley (Tuba) and 8th Grader, Caitlyn Cusick (Flute) were selected out of roughly 500 JH students across the state.  The 7th and 8th grade bands will be comprised of around 90 students each and will spend Feb. 23 at OSU working with OSU faculty and a world renowned guest conductor.  They will then give a concert at Weigel Hall on campus.  Congratulations Cynthia and Caitlyn!

This year TJHS had students enter pieces of art work for the 2013 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Art, Writing & Multimedia Contest sponsored by the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.  There were nearly 1000 entries statewide, with one winner selected from each grade level.  TJHS student and 8th Grader, Abby Smith was named the winner for her grade level.  Abby will be recognized Feb. 27 in Columbus, OH at an awards ceremony and reception.  Congratulations Abby!

We have three students who will be participating in the Regional National History Bee in Lexington, KY on April 8.  7th Graders, Megan Myers and Tony Simon, along with 8th Grader, Josh Kraynek all qualified for this event by finishing in the top 4 out of roughly 200 TJHS students who took the initial History Bee test given here at TJHS.  They then had to take the Online Regional Qualifying Exam (ORQE) and have a score in the top 120 students out of the Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky Region.  Congratulations Megan, Tony, and Josh and good luck at the Regional National History Bee!

TJHS is beaming with pride for the accomplishments of these students!  With that being said, I want to provide an example of why we have so many students doing so well.  Recently Mrs. Neikirk, Social Studies Team 7-1, had her students do an extra credit assignment that included a portion from the parents.  The assignment was for the students to watch the State of Union address by the President and respond to what they felt were the biggest issues discussed by President Obama.  Parents were asked to write their response to what they felt were the biggest issues for a compare/contrast analysis by the class the following day.  Mrs. Neikirk shared with me that the response was overwhelming, more than she had ever received.  

The reason I share this is that this assignment required parents and students to spend time watching a current event, reflect on the issues with that event, then submit a response.  The overwhelming participation in this assignment summarizes why our students perform so well...they have supportive parents and families.  Research tells us the  most accurate predictor of a student's achievement in school is not income or social status but the extent to which that student's family is able to:
  1. Create a home environment that encourages learning.
  2. Express high (but not unrealistic) expectations for their children's achievement and future careers.
  3. Become involved in their children's education at school and in the community. (Henderson and Berla, 1994, p. 160)
Thank you TJHS parents for creating a home environment that allows our students to Shine so Bright!  

Go Trojans! 

Dave Dilbone