It's Worth It: District celebrates achievements of staff, schools, students

Trent Bowers
Worthington Schools

In Worthington Schools, our mission is to “empower a community of learners who will change the world.”

Since we adopted this mission statement more than five years ago, it has served an important guiding light in everything we do every day. The challenges we are facing today make it even more important that we strive for this goal.

Trent Bowers is superintendent of Worthington Schools.

We have several staff members and students who have been recognized this year for excellence both in learning and character, and I am pleased to highlight some recent accomplishments by both our students and staff that exemplify how we are meeting our mission.

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An important annual event is the presentation of the Gary Smith Compassionate Teaching Award, which was established in 1998 in memory of Worthington teacher and coach Gary Smith. Its purpose is to honor Worthington teachers who go above and beyond normal teaching duties, extending themselves in special ways to care for students.

This year, Thomas Worthington High School staff member Jake Guthrie was selected as the recipient of this honor. In their nomination of Guthrie, parents and staff members shared how he often thinks outside the box in order to connect with students and help them find ways to succeed. He always is willing to help students find solutions to problems rather than judge them. Like many of our staff members, he is committed to being a trusted adult in our schools for our students.

I’d also like to congratulate counselor Natalie Fei from Worthingway Middle School and counseling intern Carley Roe, who were awarded an "OSCAR" from the Ohio School Counselor Association. The OSCAR stands for Ohio School Counselor Accountability Report. It recognizes counselors who take great care in creating a tool that demonstrates how student outcomes are directly impacted by the work of our school counselors.

Congratulations also to Wilson Hill Elementary School and Sutter Park Early Childhood Program as both were selected as 2020 Hall of Fame Schools by the Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators. The award recognizes schools that engage faculty, students and the community to provide a quality school experience.

Our students are excelling at the highest levels, as well.

Thomas Worthington students Soham Konar, Maia Lin, Victor Nash, and Margaret Potter and Worthington Kilbourne High School students Sylvia Long, Samuel Marano, Erika McCague, Emma Tasse and Max Zheng were selected as National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists.

More than 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2019 PSAT, which served as an initial screening of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing fewer than 1% of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. They now will compete for 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million next spring.

Congratulations to our students on this prestigious honor and good luck to them in the competition.

These highlights represent just a fraction of what our students and staff members are doing to change the world.

I’m constantly impressed by the level of dedication our team members and students in Worthington continue to display. If you see someone going above and beyond, please share it with us or maybe even put something positive on your social-media accounts.

Join us in celebrating the good things happening throughout our community.

Trent Bowers is superintendent of Worthington Schools. Write to him at tbowers@wscloud.org.