This is one of my last columns as Dublin City Schools Superintendent and I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on my time here, and to take a look forward to the future for this district.
First, let me say how much I appreciate this community's support of my family, and for the support given to our district, which is one of the best in the United States.
It has been a pleasure working with such a professional and dedicated Dublin City Schools Board of Education.
Our Board members have a genuine passion for education and serve with great respect and humility.
Our collective priority as a Board, and an administration has been to make decisions based on the best interests of our students.
We have accomplished many things as a community and as a school district since my tenure here began in 2007 and I cannot possibly list them all in this piece.
I would like to touch on just a few of this district's accomplishments during the past six years.
For me, the legacy I am most proud of is the accomplishments of our students and staff.
We have assembled one of the best administrative, teaching, and support staffs you will find anywhere in the country.
Their dedication to the success of the students in this district is one of the most important reasons this district has continued to excel academically.
When I arrived in the district, Dublin City Schools was already one of Ohio's highest achieving districts, but we have not rested on our laurels.
Our expert teaching staff has continued to push our students to even higher levels of achievement.
In 2007, the average composite ACT score of our students was 23.6.
In 2013, our average composite ACT score is 25. This is a remarkable number for a district with more than 4,000 high school students who come from diverse social and economic backgrounds.
Simply put, Dublin City Schools is the best large school district in Ohio. The average ACT and SAT scores of our students are the tops in the state among districts with more than 10,000 students.
Dublin City Schools is one of 13 districts in Ohio to earn Excellent with Distinction, every year that rating has been available.
We have earned Ohio's highest academic rating for 9 consecutive years and our Performance Index score has risen from 103.7 in 2006-07, to an all-time high of 107.0 in 2012-13.
Dublin Jerome High School and Dublin Scioto High School outscored most other countries in the world according to data collected from the Program for International Student Assessment administered last year.
PISA is an international benchmarking system designed to provide a way of comparing the performance of individual schools with their counterparts around the world.
Our students stack up with those anywhere on earth.
Our International Baccalaureate program at all three high schools continues to provide our students with a world-class learning credential that colleges and universities take into strong consideration during the admissions process.
The Dublin City School District has closed achievement gaps in reading and math in all subgroups while the achievement of all students has continued to increase.
An achievement gap exists when you compare the achievement of all students to the achievement of students in individual subgroups.
These subgroups, as defined by the Ohio Local Report Card, are: American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian or Pacific Islander, Black, non-Hispanic, Hispanic, Limited English Proficient, Multi-racial, Students with Disabilities, and White non-Hispanic.
In only five years, the district has shaved 10.5 percent off the achievement gap in math for Hispanic students and in only four years, the math achievement gap for African-American students has closed by 12 percent.
Gains in reading have also been impressive with the reading gap closing 7.7 percent in five years for Hispanic students and 6.2 percent for African-American students.
Our teaching staff has continued to push themselves as well. Each year hundreds of our teachers volunteer for professional development opportunities such as the Dublin Leadership Academy and the Dublin Literacy Conference.
We now have 94 Master Teachers in our district, a fact that should make all of us proud.
Dublin City Schools has continued to grow, adding more than 1,200 students since 2007.
The challenges of growth will continue to face the district in the years to come as development in the northwest portion of the district has begun to pick up as the economy continues to rebound.
Like all districts in Ohio, Dublin City Schools will be facing challenges in the future.
The implementation of the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System and the Common Core standards are only two of several major changes in education looming on the horizon.
I am confident Dublin City Schools is in very capable hands as we move forward.
Incoming Superintendent Dr. Todd Hoadley has 15-years experience as a superintendent in three different school districts.
He and his family will be moving to Dublin this summer. I'm sure the Hoadleys will receive a warm welcome.
The Axner family will remain in the district as well and I hope to see many of you around the community in future months and years.
Thanks again to everyone who has supported Dublin City Schools and to those who made my time in Dublin some of the best years of my career.
Dublin City School District Superintendent David Axner submitted the From the Superintendent's Desk column.