Another year of honors and kudos marked 2013 for the Worthington City Schools.
The new format of the state report card rated the district highly. Worthington was the only district in central Ohio to earn all A's in the progress section of the report, and administrators were very pleased.
Individuals and schools earned their own honors, with Brookside Elementary School being named a "High Progress School of Honor" by the Ohio Department of Education, Bluffsview Elementary School winning the state archery competition and Worthington Kilbourne High School student George Liu winning a gold medal in the National Scholastic Art and Writing Contest.
It also was a year of change, as 80 new teachers were hired over the summer. Administrators said that was a record number of new hires, necessitated mainly because of the many retirements.
The other good news was financial, with the five-year forecast so rosy that school board members said another operating levy would not be needed until at least 2017.
The school board also saw a change, with newcomer Sam Shim winning election over longtime member and current president David Bressman. Marc Schare and Jennifer Best were re-elected.
The following are some of the year's highlights:
• The Worthington Educational Foundation kicked off the year with its second very well-attended fundraiser at the Shops at Worthington Place on Jan. 26.
• Homework Help centers opened at the Old Worthington and Northwest branches of the Worthington Libraries.
• A Granby Gala was held Feb. 8 at J. Liu Restaurant & Bar to celebrate the school's 25th anniversary.
• Student athletes and marching band members were exempted from a requirement to take physical education classes.
• The Thomas Worthington High School student athlete leadership board raised money for a disc golf course to be built on the flats, west of the building. The course was built in the spring.
• Sam Shim announced he would be a candidate for a seat on the Worthington Board of Education in November.
• Bluffsview Elementary School won first place in the state archery tournament.
• Dan Girard stepped down from his post as athletics director at Thomas Worthington High School to become principal of Brookside Elementary School. Scott Dorne, athletics and activities director at Westerville South High School, was hired to succeed Girard.
• Sophomore George Liu from Worthington Kilbourne High School won a gold medal in the National Scholastic Art and Writing Contest. No other Worthington student had ever won the award.
• A new safety and security system would require all elementary and middle schools to use buzz-in entry systems beginning in the fall.
• Matthew Keller was named principal at Wilson Hill Elementary School, and Joseph Jude was named principal at Worthington Hills Elementary School.
• Free breakfasts and lunches were offered over the summer at Slate Hill Elementary School.
• Candidates for the Worthington Board of Education were incumbents Marc Schare, David Bressman Jennifer Best and challenger Sam Shim.
• Approximately 400 community members went to Thomas Worthington High School for a group photo in support of teacher/coach Stephen Gussler in his fight against cancer.
• More than 80 new teachers were hired over the summer, setting what many believed to be a record.
• Worthington administrators were pleased with the results of the newly reconfigures state report card. Worthington received all A's in the progress section of the report card. It was the only district in central Ohio and one of eight statewide to earn that distinction.
• Six Worthington seniors were named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists. They are Benjamin Nichols, Nicholas Meyer, Sam Putka and Jingwen Zhang from Thomas Worthington and Lily Fang and Yuliya Klochan from Worthington Kilbourne.
• Incumbent candidates Marc Schare and Jennifer Best declined to be interviewed by the Worthington Education Association. Both said they did not want the endorsement of the teachers union.
• The financial forecast for the district was so positive that most board members said another operating levy would not be needed until at least 2017.
• Challenger Sam Shim was elected to the Worthington Board of Education. Incumbents Marc Schare and Jennifer Best also were elected, but current board president David Bressman lost in his bid for a fourth term.
• Thomas Tucker was named Superintendent of the Year by the National Alliance of Black Educators.
Brookside Elementary School was named a "High Progress School of Honor" by the Ohio Department of Education.