Energy was high as students, faculty, staff, and distinguished guests filled Kennett Middle School’s auditorium to celebrate the school being recognized by the Pennsylvania Don Eichhorn Schools: Schools to Watch program for the second time since 2012.
The Pennsylvania Schools to Watch program annually recognizes a small number of diverse, high-performing, growth-oriented middle schools that demonstrate academic excellence, developmental responsiveness to the unique challenges of early adolescence, social equity, and school structures and processes that support and sustain the path to excellence. The middle school joins a very select cadre of 31 schools in Pennsylvania and more than 370 schools across the country that have earned the distinction of being Schools to Watch; only four others are located in the Delaware Valley region.
After an enthusiastic welcome by eighth grade students and Student Council members Emma Giancola and Molly Hohner, the eighth grade chorus performed the “Star Spangled Banner” and “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors.
“We are so happy that we have been able to earn this esteemed designation,” Emma and Molly told the audience. “Although this may be our last year, really our last few weeks here, Kennett Middle School has made an impression on us, and we will always carry that with us. All of our experiences here have helped shape us as students, and we could not be more grateful for our time here with the wonderful faculty and student body.”
“We will continue to emphasize our strengths while seeking innovative ways to attack our areas of improvement,” Acting Principal Mr. Lorenzo DeAngelis told the audience. “Our goal is to be successful — academically, socially, physically, and emotionally. Becoming a School to Watch was not an easy task, but we’re up to the challenge and look forward to celebrating this wonderful recognition again in 2018.”
Before stepping aside for comments by Kennett Consolidated School District Board member Mr. Joseph Meola, sixth-grade teacher Mrs. Melissa Keer, and Mr. Bruce Vosburgh and Mr. Paul Meck, co-directors of the Pennsylvania Schools to Watch program, Mr. DeAngelis recognized Dr. John Carr for his leadership over the past 37 years. Dr. Carr retired as the middle school’s principal at the end of this academic year.
While unable to attend the celebration, Dr. Barry Tomasetti, superintendent, sent his good wishes, “This award is significant because it recognizes the diligence of everyone involved in advancing the learning of our students: the most worthwhile endeavor that anyone could undertake. Congratulations students. Your academic progress and citizenship are important as you advance through the grades and will continue to be vital assets for the rest of your lives. Keep up your outstanding efforts.”
Before presenting the middle school with its new Schools to Watch banner, Mr. Vosburgh commented that Schools to Watch is about the journey, not the award. “The skills and habits that you gain today will serve you as you progress in your academic career and beyond.”
A highlight of the celebration was a ten-minute video featuring teachers, staff, and students. The video was produced by eighth grade teacher Ms. Brenna Levi and can be seen by clicking here.
The celebration wrapped up with a special appearance by the Philly Phanatic, who engaged students, faculty, and guests while the jazz band played “Moves Like Jagger,” by Maroon 5.