Three Marion County public high schools – Belleview, Lake Weir, and West Port – earned bronze medals and national recognition on the 2015 US News Best High Schools listing released earlier this week.
The magazine reviewed nearly 20,000 eligible schools nationwide and awarded 500 gold, 2,027 silver, and 3,990 bronze medals based on performance on state assessments and how well schools prepare students for college. In Florida, 911 high school made this year’s list including Belleview, Lake Weir, and West Port.
These three local schools -- now designated as Bronze Medal schools – earned enough points based on three factors: 1) How students performed compared to students elsewhere in Florida; 2) How disadvantaged students outperformed other disadvantaged students in the state; and 3) College-ready performance based on Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) scores.
Lake Weir and West Port have earned the same national recognition for at least the last three years.
This national recognition follows the Washington Post’s “Most Challenging High Schools” list last month which included all seven traditional Marion County public high schools including Belleview, Dunnellon, Forest, Lake Weir, North Marion, Vanguard and West Port.
WEST PORT HIGH SCHOOL Principal Jayne Ellspermann, also the 2015 National School Principal of the Year, met President Barack Obama at The White House recently. While her time was short with the President – enough for a handshake and photo – she also met National Education Secretary Arnie Duncan and National Superintendent of the Year Philip Lanoue of Clark County Schools, Georgia. Ironically, Ellspermann attended a Clark County high school for two years when she was a student.
GOLD SHINES DURING SILVER ANNIVERSARY - Marion County’s Golden Apple Teacher Academy celebrated its 25th anniversary recently by adding six new members to its ranks. All six teachers were surprised with classroom visits to share the exciting news. Five received Golden Apples, including Forest High’s Bethany Crawford, who is Marion County’s 2015 Teacher of the Year. This year’s other Golden Apple recipients include Christina Etts (Dr. NH Jones Elementary), Beth Lazar (Evergreen Elementary), Dwayne Molock (Greenway Elementary), and Aisha Shaheed (Howard Middle). Meantime, Matthew Binkley (Evergreen Elementary) is Marion County’s 2015 Rookie Teacher of the Year. As the name implies, rookies are fairly new to the classroom, having no more than three years of experience.
CA$HING IN ON $AFETY - Lake Weir High students gladly accepted their $500 check for winning this year’s “Battle of the Belts” competition. That’s because more students -- 93 percent -- were observed wearing their seat belts at LWHS than any other local high school. Ayres Cluster, a local law firm, sponsors the competition now in its 12th year.
Total visits since 1/1/2015: 4,391,573
Total visits in 2014: 6,886,178
Total visits in 2013: 11,615,641
Total visits in 2012: 11,799,753
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Total visits in 2010: 8,620,826
Total visits in 2009: 4,851,153
Total visits in 2008: 3,104,170
Marion County Public Schools
An Equal Opportunity School District
512 SE 3 Street, Ocala, Florida 34471 USA