Saturday, January 2, 2016

2015 - Reflections of a successful year

Although the school year is only halfway through, students, staff and programs have had many outstanding accomplishments and achievements throughout the 2015 calendar year. While far too many to list, some highlights representing the successes of the school district include:

A major highpoint this year was the completion of the high school’s rigorous evaluation from the AdvancED Accreditation Commission and was awarded Full Accreditation as a quality school.

Last spring, the Michigan Department of Education transitioned to a new statewide assessment program called the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP).  It was administered online and measured current student knowledge. The M-STEP assesses student learning on Michigan's standards in mathematics, English Language Arts (ELA), Science, and Social Studies.The MDE publicly released the spring 2015 M-STEP data and we are very pleased that Lake Orion Community Schools performed well above both the state and county averages for grades 3-11.  Of the 28 school districts in Oakland County, Lake Orion ranked: English Language Arts: 5th overall , Math: 7th overall, Science: 4th overall and Social Studies: 3rd overall.

In recognition of the innovation and success of LO’s Early Literacy Program, Lake Orion Community Schools was named a District of Distinction by District Administration Magazine in the inaugural round of this new national recognition program.

Two LOHS teachers received national recognition: LOHS Science Teacher, Andrea Brook, was selected as the recipient of the National Association of Biology Teacher's Outstanding Biology Teacher Award for Michigan and creative writing, British literature and English teacher, Joshua Hosler, is one of only thirteen educators nationwide to win the 2015 Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award.

Our district was selected to host three major conferences attended by hundreds of educators and parents throughout the county and state including the Michigan Association of Middle School Education statewide conference for more than 300 middle school level educators, administrators and higher educators, the Oakland County Great Start Conference for early childhood parents, and the Oakland County Best Practices Conference where participants learned from national experts and colleagues from around the county, state and Canada, showcasing a variety of proven best practices and timely issues in education.

Because of our outstanding arts program, it was a no-brainer for the Lake Orion district to be asked to join in a partnership with schools across Oakland and Macomb counties to create glass mosaics to be displayed at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan opening later this month in Troy.  As a part of the initiative, 18 schools, including LO’s three middle schools and the high school designed the murals, which are 7 feet tall and 3 feet wide.

Major kudos are in order for Dragon yearbook talented student journalists. The high school’s 2015 yearbook, Dragon Fever, received the All-American Award from the National Scholastic Press Association. The book was judged against yearbooks from throughout the United States and received the highest rating in the country earning five Marks of Distinction

LO High School Robotics Team 302 finished among the top ten schools at the Oakland County Competitive Robotics Association championship where students designed and built a robot to participate in this year’s competitive game called “8 Ball”.  At the county championship, Team 302 won two awards – Strategic Design and Simple Solution. At the elementary/middle level, LO Robotics Rebels finished 1st in the Robotics “Sharkfest Competition” and won a trophy for strategy and innovation.

Throughout the year, the LO music programs earn so many awards that they would fill this entire Blog.  To name a few…the Lake Orion HS Marching Percussion was named the 2015 WGI Percussion Scholastic A World Champions and for the fifth year in a row the Marching Band finished among the top five in the top flight at the Michigan Competing Band Association state finals.  High School and Middle School Choirs continued throughout the year to earn top marks at all festivals in which they competed.

So many of our students are recognized for their numerous accomplishments throughout the year.In addition to collective awards and without mentioning names, individual students were…

  • selected to the 2016 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band for the 3rd consecutive year
  • named to the 2015 Student Journalist Staff by the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association
  • honored for achieving high score on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery to join the United States Marine Corp graduating at the top of the class
  • recognized for being named to the National Association for Music Education’s All-National Choir
  • selected to be one of twelve young environmentalist to become a part of the inaugural Sea Life Michigan Young Environmentalist panel
  • named this year’s Oakland County “Culinary Arts student”
  • selected as one of thirty outstanding graduates by the Detroit News in partnership with Sparky Anderson’s CATCH (Sparky Anderson's Charity for Children)
  • named the recipient of the inaugural 2015 Michigan High School Coaches Association Class A, Multi-Sport Athlete of the Year
  • chosen as one of two students statewide to receive the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation yearly scholarship

Throughout the various sports seasons, several of our student athletes have earned scholarships to play their sport at the next level.  Our sports teams have had outstanding seasons with the girls’ volleyball team posting the most wins in a season, the Dragon cross country teams qualified for state meets, the boys’ soccer team captured the OAA White league title for the first time in twelve years while the boys’ tennis team won the OAA White league championship. 

The girls’ golf team finished among the state’s best and the Lady Dragon swim team finished among the top ten in the state.  And, lastly, the Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association named the Lake Orion Varsity Girls Cross Country Team the top Academic X-Country team in the state

More than 70 bus drivers for Lake Orion Community Schools completed a day-long training workshop at the district’s transportation headquarters. The bus drivers participated in educational sessions focusing on drug, alcohol and prescription drug awareness; transportation of special needs students; using EpiPens and basic first aid; and a review of emergency procedures with the Orion Township Fire Department.

Disclaimer:  Please forgive any exclusion of the many, many accomplishments of those not mentioned as there are far too many to cite.  This is intended to show just a few representations of a very successful 2015 year for Lake Orion Schools. 


~~~Marion Ginopolis, Superintendent

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