The news media tends to focus on problems in our community, or on issues that are controversial. Little room is left for good news. In the case of the East Penn School District, however, there has been a string of recent good news in recent weeks that is worth sharing.
School Performance Profile
The first is that Emmaus High School did exceptionally well in the state's new system for evaluating educational quality. It received an Academic Score of 92.5, well above the state average (76.3), the highest of any high school in Lehigh County, and the second highest in the entire Lehigh Valley (second only to Saucon Valley). This score is based on several dozens different indicators of achievement, which you can examine for yourself at the state's Pennsylvania School Performance Profile website. I don't believe these scores are the be all and end all of evaluating educational quality. But such an excellent result certainly points to many things being done right in our curriculum and classrooms.
Second, congratulations to Ms. Sue Bauer, a science and language arts teacher at Eyer. Last month she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. This is a very prestigious award, given to only about 100 teachers nationwide, and comes with a $10,000 prize from the National Science Foundation. You can read more in the White House press release naming Ms. Bauer. It speaks volumes about our district that we can attract and retain such talented and dedicated teachers, as well as provide them with the environment and resources to succeed.
Finally, Emmaus High School's Academic Team won the Lehigh Valley Conference championship last month, beating more than a half dozen other schools including Parkland and Liberty. Mr. Brent Ohl, a physics teacher at Emmaus High School, is the team's advisor. The success of the Academic Team is yet another indicator of the dedication of our teachers and staff, and the ability of our students.
A Focus on Education
The district has struggled these past few weeks with winter weather that has caused delays and cancellations. And the budget process for the next school year is going to be a tough one with lots of difficult choices to be made. In this context, it's important to remember the pattern of success and recognition our district receives. We are fortunate to live in a community that values education so highly, and a string of good news like we've received over the last month or so serves as a reminder of how critical it is to preserve and build on the district's success.