FORT LORAMIE – Fort Loramie Elementary celebrated being named an Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators Hall of Fame School on Thursday, one of seven schools in the state to earn that distinction.
All of Ohio’s elementary and middle schools, totaling more than 1,400 schools statewide, were eligible for the annual award that recognizes schools that go above and beyond meeting the needs of students.
“I know all of you have been in the big gym at the high school and you’ve seen all the state championship banners up on the wall, but I want you to know you guys are now a state champion, too,” Fort Loramie Superintendent Dan Holland said. “Five years ago, the fifth and sixth graders, you guys were part of being named national champion when we won the National Blue Ribbon so you’ve been a state and a national champion, fifth graders and sixth graders. That, too, is simply awesome.”
To be selected as an OAESA Hall of Fame school, Fort Loramie Elementary had to submit an application documenting the effectiveness of its educational program in several areas. An OAESA committee read the application then another committee visited Fort Loramie for an on-site inspection.
OAESA Zone 3 Director Cathryn Petticrew-Rice read some of the comments from the inspectors, which included “Fort Loramie is a collaborative learning community that proactively seeks to support their students’ needs. There is no denying that Fort Loramie has all the markings of a hall of fame school.”
Another inspector reported “Upon speaking with all those connected with Fort Loramie Elementary, the sense of family clearly shines through at every turn.” A third report stated “Redskin pride is synonymous with a strong work ethic, integrity, genuine collaboration, supportive community, high expectations and those are on display through the building.”
The inspectors were greeted by student visitation helpers Grady Bornhorst, Madison Snider, Jared Baker and Victoria Mescher along with staff and community visitation helpers Mayor Randy Ahlers, Lisa Ruhenkamp, Shelley Middendorf, Amy Bergman, Kevin Geise and Ellen Wehrman.
“During the selection process we had special visitors come to our school to see how great our school was,” Holland said. “During their visit they met with a few people to discuss what’s so special about our school. They were very impressed with all of you, all our school and especially you as students. They found out what we already know and that our Redskins are champions in all that we do. Congratulations on this accomplishment. You are the reason our school is so successful, keep up the great work, be proud of this and make sure you brag about it every time you can. You are now a hall of fame member.”
During Thursday’s awards ceremony, Fort Loramie sixth grader Sophia Scheer sang the national anthem and the school’s Kids Korus sang several songs.
“One of the main reasons I actually asked them to come today is because they performed for our visitors, and as we were leaving one of them said to me, ‘Wow, that was impressive that they take the time after school every week to practice, and it really showed the commitment they put into it,’” Fort Loramie Elementary Principal Scott Rodeheffer said of the Kids Korus.
Kelly Gephart, Nancy Luebke, Lisa Schmiesing, Hayley Wolf and Rodeheffer served on Fort Loramie’s hall of fame committee, which prepared the school’s application.
“We learned a lot together about what we do here and offer, and it’s neat to see so many younger teachers and the older teachers say, ‘Wow, you guys do that,’” Rodeheffer said. “Because we don’t get a chance to share what happens in the lower graders to the upper teachers and vice versa so it was very rewarding for us as well.”
For being an OAESA Hall of Fame School, Fort Loramie Elementary received a $1,000 award that the school used to purchase T-shirts for each of its students. The students also received treats from Kona Ice, which were donated by Fort Loramie A.C.E., the school district’s academic boosters.
The district also purchased shirts for the elementary staff and a banner recognizing the hall of fame honor, which was funded in part by the $1,000 award.
Along with Fort Loramie, Heritage Hill Elementary of Princeton City Schools, J.W. Reason Elementary of Hilliard City Schools, Kirtland Elementary of Kirtland Local Schools, Lincoln Elementary of Wadsworth City Schools, Prairie Lincoln Elementary of South-Western City Schools and Springdale Elementary of Princeton City Schools were named 2019 OAESA Hall of Fame Schools.
The 2019 OAESA Hall of Fame Schools will be formally recognized during an awards luncheon on June 14 at the Hilton Columbus at Easton in Columbus.
For more information on the OAESA and its awards program, visit its website at https://oaesa.org.
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