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Ohio's BEST Announces Education Achievement Awards.

Coalition Honors 46 BEST Practices and President of Cleveland Foundation;

Governor Taft Boosts BEST Practices Initiative with $1 Million

in Annual State Funding

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Ohio's BEST, the statewide coalition of education, business and community organizations, honored 46 BEST Practices and announced six special achievement awards for education excellence and innovation yesterday.

The awards were presented at the Fifth Annual BEST Awards Gala in Columbus. The culmination of BEST's 1999 statewide search for education "BEST Practices," the Gala attracted more than 1,000 educators, students, parents and community leaders from across the state. Launched in 1995, the BEST Practices initiative honors exemplary education programs and practices that have been successful in improving the performance of Ohio's schools.

At the Gala, Governor Bob Taft announced that $2 million appropriated in the 2000-2001 state budget bill to support and encourage the development of BEST Practices will be used to fund grants for future BEST Practices beginning in 2000. The Governor indicated that $1 million in funding for each of the next two years will be used to provide incentives for innovation, reward high levels of performance, and encourage the replication of successful programs around the state.

Forty-six BEST Practices from 27 Ohio counties, selected from a field of 228 nominations statewide, were honored at the Gala. (See list of award winners.) Five of the 46 BEST Practices for 1999 were singled out for special achievement and were presented with the following awards:

* First Things First Award -- for special achievement in early childhood

education. Recipient: Hinckley Elementary School, Highland Local

Schools, The Train Station to the Reservation: A Writing Project.

* Safe Schools Award -- for creating safe, orderly and disciplined

learning environments. Recipient: Warren County Educational Service

Center, Warren County Alternative School.

* World-Class Teaching Award -- for enhancing teaching excellence in Ohio

schools. Recipient: Cincinnati City Schools, Cincinnati Federation of

Teachers and the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Professional

Practice Schools Partnership.

* Community Partnership Award -- for engaging the total community in the

education improvement process. Recipient: Port Clinton City Schools,

Champions for Children.

* Academic Excellence Award -- for promoting higher academic standards and

performance. Recipient: Perry High School, Perry Local Schools,

Perritech -- Allowing Students to Reach the Top.

"The BEST Practices initiative is the most visible symbol of the BEST coalition's commitment to providing all children in Ohio with a quality education," said BEST Co-chair Robert Wehling, global marketing officer for The Procter & Gamble Company. "This annual program fulfills two important objectives: It offers much-deserved recognition for schools, school districts and communities that are achieving excellent results, and it provides a vehicle for sharing and disseminating new ideas for improving education statewide."

In a separate award category, Springfield Local Schools' Dorr Elementary School in Toledo received the coalition's Seeds of Change Award for 1999. This award recognizes a previous year's BEST Practice winner that has successfully replicated its program in other schools, school districts and communities across Ohio. Dorr Elementary School, a 1997 BEST Practice honoree, was one of four former winners to be nominated for the Seeds of Change award.

BEST also presented its highest tribute, the BEST Leadership Award, to Steven Minter, president of The Cleveland Foundation. Minter was honored for his lifelong commitment to public education, his nearly 40 years of community service, his leadership at both the state and national levels, and his role in awarding tens of millions of dollars through The Cleveland Foundation to strengthen public education in the Cleveland area and education reform efforts at the state level.

Ohio's BEST Practices for 1999

ALPHABETICALLY BY COUNTY

Auglaize County

Auglaize County Educational Service Center, Auglaize County Opportunities

for Youth Program

Butler County

Butler County Educational Service Center Head Start Program, Promoting

Literacy Through Lending Libraries -- Connecting Families to School

Clark County

Springfield City Schools, Business Advisory Council: Example of School-

Community Initiatives

Columbiana County

Beaver Local Middle School, Beaver Local Schools, "REACT" (Reacting

Effectively Against Classroom Turbulence) -- A Behavior Management

Program

Columbiana County Educational Service Center, Annual Fall Fair

Cuyahoga County

Glendale Primary School, Bedford City Schools, Team Tutor Program

John W. Raper Elementary School, Cleveland City Schools, Pre-First Grade

Inclusive Model Classroom

Parma City Schools, Friends Around the World Multicultural Kits

Defiance County

Defiance City Schools, Defiance 2000 Neighborhood Learning Centers

Erie County

Perkins Local Schools, Training Community Mentors as Substitute

Teachers -- A Community-Based Staff Development Program

Franklin County

Hannah Ashton Middle School, Reynoldsburg City Schools, Intervention is a

Vital Link in Success for All Students

Heritage Middle School, Westerville City Schools, Student Academic

Performances

Huber Ridge Elementary School, Westerville City Schools, Project Spring

Run

Kilbourne Middle School, Worthington City Schools, Webs of Learning CD:

Pioneering a Technology Rich School Culture

New Albany-Plain Local Schools, Technology Proficiency Requirement for

Graduation

Reynoldsburg City Schools, Increasing the Quality of Student Performance

Through Greater Teacher Accountability -- The Critical Friends Group

Process

Rose Hill Elementary School, Reynoldsburg City Schools, Rose Hill Respect

Program

South-Western City Schools, Math Matters

South-Western City Schools, School/Family/Community Partnerships

Westerville South High School and Westerville North High School,

Westerville City Schools, Career Focus

Westerville North High School, Westerville City Schools and Cheryl & Co.,

Cheryl & Co. Hometown Integrated Project (C.C.H.I.P.)

Westland High School, South-Western City Schools, The Phoenix Academy

Greene County

Beavercreek City Schools, Beavercreek Community 24-Hour Relay Challenge

Hamilton County

Cincinnati City Schools, Cincinnati Federation of Teachers and University

of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Professional Practice Schools Partnership

Edwin H. Greene Intermediate School, Sycamore Community Schools, BETTER

ALL TOGETHER -- Discipline With Dignity and Respect

Great Oaks Institute of Technology and Career Development, Placement

Services

Northwest High School, Northwest Local Schools, Senior Honors Seminar

Robert A. Taft High School, Cincinnati City Schools and Cincinnati Youth

Collaborative, Taft-Career Academic Program (T-CAP)

Scarlet Oaks Career Development Center, Great Oaks Institute of Technology

and Career Development, Creating a Caring Learning Organization Focused

on Student Success and Teacher Growth

Jefferson County

Steubenville City Schools, Leadership Academy 2000

Lake County

Perry High School, Perry Local Schools, Perritech -- Allowing Students

to Reach the Top

Lorain County

Eastern Heights Junior High School, Elyria City Schools and Nordson

Corporation, School-to-Work Partnership With Math Focus

Lucas County

Ottawa River Elementary School, Toledo City Schools, "We Otter Be Writing"

Mahoning County

Mahoning County Educational Service Center, Teacher Liaison Program

Medina County

Hinckley Elementary School, Highland Local Schools, The Train Station to

the Reservation: A Writing Project

Muskingum County

Westview Elementary School, Zanesville City Schools, PIL (Partners in

Literacy)

Zanesville City Schools, A Neighborhood of Learning: The James Madison

Family Center

Ottawa County

Port Clinton City Schools, Champions for Children

Pickaway County

Pickaway Elementary School, Logan Elm Local Schools, Conference Showcase

Putnam County

Putnam County Educational Service Center, The Challenge -- Preparing

Students for the 21st Century

Richland County

Madison South Elementary School, Madison Local Schools, MAGIC

Stark County

Minerva Local Schools, Strategic Planning Process -- Looking to the Future

Summit County

Fort Island Primary School, Copley-Fairlawn City Schools, Competency

Proficiency Intervention (CPI)

Trumbull County

Girard City Schools, Futures Prep and Awareness

Warren County

Warren County Alternative School

Wood County

Eagle Point Elementary School, Rossford Exempted Village Schools,

Commitment for Success

1999 Seeds of Change Nominees

Greene JROTC Academy

Dayton City Schools

Children of Promise

Reading Community City Schools

Early Identification Program --

Serving At-Risk Kindergarten and First-Grade Students

Springfield Local Schools

Dorr Elementary School -- A Full Service School

Toledo Electrical JATC

(Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee)

School-to-Work Program
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Date:Sep 15, 1999
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