November 27, 2013 - As we prepare for the holiday season, there are countless reasons to be thankful. I ask you to please join me in giving thanks to the people of the Clarkston Community Schools our staff, board, volunteers, parents, administrators, and students for these top 12 recent fiscal, service, academic, athletic, and technical accomplishments.
1. The district achieved a balanced budget, through its fiscal conservatism, collaboration with bargaining groups, and reductions in expenditures. We owe a special thanks to our employees who are contributing significantly toward health care, have had freezes in pay for several years, and have experienced pay cuts.
2. Through collaborative processes, the district accomplished more than $1 million in newly generated revenues via innovative partnerships with private and parochial schools.
3. In collaboration with Independence Township, the district established Clarkston Television, bringing enhanced learning opportunities to students and information to the community.
4. Our cocurricular clubs and teams have achieved remarkable success this fall, including the marching band, the football team, the volleyball team, the boys' soccer team, the girls' swimming team, the boys' tennis team, and many others.
5. The district has refunded bonds, saving taxpayers more than $15 million in taxes over the next
6. One of our students, Sean McNeil, accomplished National Merit Scholar SemiFinalist designation. That means he was in the top 3% of the approximately 1.5 million American high school students who applied. Lynn Gordon, the media specialist at Andersonville and Independence Elementary Schools, was recognized by the Michigan Association for Media in Education group for making significant contributions to the profession. Kyle Hughes, a teacher at CHS, was appointed to the National FIRST Robotics Board. Teachers Chas Claus (boys' tennis) and Kelly Avenall (volleyball) were both named coaches of the year in Oakland County. Many other CCS educators and students have achieved similar levels of excellence! Congratulations!
7. Juniors at Clarkston High School accomplished the highest ACT composite scores in a seven year period.
8. This year, our Academic Service Learning team will provide countless opportunities for our students and staff to serve the greater good. Over 5,000 CCS students will give to our community, region, state, nation, and world throughout the year. This is truly the spirit of Clarkston!
9. The district implemented readers, writers, and math workshops at the elementary levels.
These processes enhance student' achievement through teacher professional training and student engagement.
10. Just last year, CCS became the first school district in the world to host a Harvard University
Project Zero conference for all teachers in the district. More than 800 educators from six continents attended. Clarkston is now known as a leader, globally, in building a Culture of Thinking.
11. The Board of Education has agreed to purchase a new student information system.
The system is web based and will be available 24/7 at home, in our schools, and on mobile devices. It will allow students, parents and staff to communicate and verify that every one of our students is getting the support they need to succeed.
12. The district served as a national leader in energy efficiency. Nine of our school buildings have received Energy Star certification. Clarkston High School was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as one of just 78 Green Ribbon Schools, nationwide.
Your school district works very hard every day to cultivate thinkers, learners, and positive contributors in a global society. As evidenced above, the district has achieved sound financial status, even in difficult economic times~ has creatively generated revenues~ has improved its technology information processes~ has expanded service learning~ has enhanced teacher and student achievement~ has produced outstanding accomplishments by individual students, teams, and staff~ and has led the way in energy efficiency. We have much to celebrate this year, thanks to our outstanding staff members, our supportive community, our amazing students, and the dedicated leadership of our administrators and board of education. Together, we make Clarkston one of the best places in the nation to live, work, and learn. CCS is truly blessed!
By Rod Rock, Ed.D., superintendent