Outgoing Riverside Board of Education Vice President Robert Bender, second from the left, addresses the board Tuesday evening during his final meeting. Also pictured are Janet Siders, left, and Dr. Bradley Adams. (EXAMINER PHOTO | MANDY LOEHR)
Bender recognized at his last meeting
Riverside Elementary School was recognized at the district’s Tuesday evening board of education meeting for recently attaining the Ohio Department of Education’s 2019 High Progress School of Promise Award.
The school is among 71 other school buildings across the state to qualify for this honor that recognizes attaining high achievement and substantial progress according to state assessment scores and multiple data. In addition, award recipients must serve 40 percent or more economically disadvantaged students.
Superintendent Scott Mann credited the work of Elementary Principal Mason Bryan and teaching staff with their recent efforts toward making large strides in improving the school’s literacy program. For the K-3 literacy section for the 2018-19 school year state report card, Riverside received a 94 percent grade and was one of 11 school districts in Ohio to receive an A letter grade on this component, as previously detailed in the Examiner.
This School of Promise Award continues the growth that was recognized last school year with the elementary building’s receipt of the state department’s 2018 Momentum Award.
“I’m so proud of Mr. (Mason) Bryan and all of the elementary school staff for their continued success,” the superintendent said. “We’re working to sustain excellence and keep this going, and are excited to be reaping so many benefits for our students.”
Other requirements for the High Progress School of Honor include earning an A or B on the overall (all students) value-added measure on the 2019 state report card; earning an A, B or C on the gap closing component; and meeting certain proficiency rates of 80 and 90 percent with certain student subgroups.
Riverside Elementary earned B’s in both the overall value-added measure and in gap closing. In addition, the school building received an A in its value-added component for students in the lowest 20 percent of achievement.
Also Tuesday evening, members and administrators recognized retiring Board Vice President Robert Bender at his last meeting following his eight years of service.
“Thank you for the time and effort that you’ve put into this position,” Mann said to Bender during a presentation of a clock from the district. “You’ve grown so much as a board member during the last eight years. We really appreciate the amount of time and energy you have invested into our school.”
Bender said,” it’s been a great eight years and my life has been dramatically changed through this position.” He related that he had served as Parent-Teacher Organization president before joining the board of education.
“At that time, I ran (for the board of education) on the premise that the school was failing, with both financial troubles and academic issues” he said. “We had borrowed $400,000 to make payroll and were on a threat of fiscal watch.
“Little did I know that we had the people in place here to turn this school around to where we are today.”
He said in recent years, “we saw God putting difference pieces in place to help our school. God has been faithful to us.”
President Dr. Bradley Adams thanked Bender for his “leadership and friendship.”
New member Blaine Dixon will replace Bender, effective Jan. 1.
In other action, the board approved joining the National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance and the 2020-21 high school course catalog.
Members appointed Adams as president pro-tempore for the 2020 organizational meeting, slated for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7, at the school library, followed by the regular monthly meeting.