GREENVILLE — Arcanum High School 10th-grader Josiah Fox received an award during the Darke County Educational Service Center’s (ESC) annual Raising Expectations for All Learners (REAL) Success luncheon, Wednesday, in Greenville.
“I felt like I did fine on the test, but I was nervous,” Fox said. “I didn’t think I got it this year, but apparently I did good enough; so I am glad. I try to do my best to work hard everyday.”
The event, presented by the Special Education Supervisory staff of the Darke County ESC, is to recognize students with disabilities that earned Advanced or Accelerated scores on Ohio State tests or End of Course in high school, according to Darke County ESC Secondary Special Education Supervisor/Work Study Coordinator Jodi Rinehart.
“It is important for the students to be recognized, because many times they are not recognized as achievers in the school setting,” Rinehart said.
Darke County ESC Superintendent Mike Gray presented 55 students with awards from the following school districts: Ansonia: Kaylee Boyer-Diffenderfer, Trenten Case, Jenna Fullroth, Joseph Hood, Matthew Lee and Coleton Thornhill; Arcanum: Kasey Armstrong, Josiah Fox, Shane Grant and Lily Kuhbander; Bradford: Zane Jones, Andrew Moyer and Jonathan Richardson-Welch; Franklin Monroe: Ross Crumrine, Aliyah Glass, Evie Middlestetter, Ethan Olson, Evie Osterday and Aidan Williams; Mississinawa Valley: Natalie Bergman, Zackary Binkley, Jonas Bobo, Samantha Couchot, Chasity Gaynor, Caden King, Manuel Melchor, Bonnie Parker, Braydon Smith and Thomas Swanson; Tri-Village: Gracie Brown, Morgan Brown, Braden Cockerham, John Ketring, Brandon Lee, Becca Locke, Kaleb Martin and Michael Seger; Versailles: Sergio Banda-Duque, Garett Braun, Adam Cordonnier, Alex Dircksen, Greg Dircksen, Matthew Fisher, Christopher Foreman, Brianna Frantz, Joseph Fritscher, Nathan Grogean, Tyler Hull, Kaden Markham, Jocelyn Mumaw, Jillian Mumaw, Dale Petitjean, Davion Runner, Jace Schilling and Katie Runner.
Franklin Monroe Elementary School Guidance Counselor Lisa Wendel was the guest speaker.
Wendel explained how the Ohio Department of Education uses letters to describe and categorize people. The state refers to the students as SWDs (Students with Disabilities), she said. The state counts how many SWDs are in each school and at what level they are achieving. She also talked about the Multiple Intelligences theory, developed by Howard Earl Gardner, an American developmental psychologist and the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education at Harvard University.
“He believed that we only measure intelligence through school smarts, and we need to recognize intelligence in other places and things,” Wendel said. “Most SWDs have problems with school smarts. This can be a real problem, because SWDs are forced to spend large amounts of time in a place doing the things they find most difficult. The reason the REAL success luncheon is so different than all the other awards given to students, is that it recognizes students for success in the thing that they find the most difficult, rather than the thing they can do with little effort.”
“Students, because you didn’t give up you are role models for the SWDs left back at your school,” Wendel said. “You kept trying and you worked through the difficulty and as a result; succeeded. Some of your peers will quit when faced with a challenge in their SWD area. I lived with two daughters who found school work very easy, but every year on field day you would have thought the school was sending them to the gas chamber. They were only comfortable when they were successful at something they found easy. You succeeded at something you found difficult. I think the state got it right: you are all SWDs. But in your case, it stands for students with determination. Congratulations SWDs.”
In addition to the students receiving awards for their determination, Rinehart said she challenged teachers to be happy teachers. For six weeks teachers had to do different things throughout the days, such as: playing soft music, greeting students with a high five at the door or cleaning out a messy area of the room. They were to report their activities to Rinehart.
“Some reported all week, some reported a few days and some didn’t take the challenge,” Rinehart said.
The two grand prize winners were: Kylie Weitz of Ansonia and Kim House of Franklin Monroe.
“Every Friday I received her e-mail, and she was so excited,” Rinehart said of House. “I know this teacher is a very happy teacher.”