Archive for Thursday, December 21, 2006

Agency congratulates students, staff for achievements

December 21, 2006

For at least one day this week, bubble gum chewing was allowed in many Lansing classrooms.

Real estate agents from Coldwell Banker Reilly and Sons delivered the gum to students and carnations to staff at Lansing schools on Tuesday, Dec. 19, in recognition for a job well done.

"It's a very small way of saying congratulations and thanks for all of their hard work and achievements," said Jerry Reilly, chairman of Coldwell Banker Reilly and Sons.

Lansing Elementary School first-grade teacher Nancy Collard approached Reilly with the idea last week after the Kansas State Board of Education officially recognized six district classes that met the state's Standard of Excellence at the grade level.

The state also announced that Lansing High School and Lansing Middle School had achieved the Building Standard of Excellence ratings in reading and mathematics.

Both ratings are based on standardized state assessment tests taken during the spring.

"When it became official, I felt like it should be a time to celebrate," Collard said.

Grades recognized were: LHS juniors for reading; LHS sophomores for math; LMS eighth-graders for math and reading; LMS seventh-graders for reading; LMS sixth-graders for reading; and LES third-graders for math and reading.

Collard, a member of the LES steering committee, told committee members she wanted to see all of the districts' staff and students receive kudos - and not just for favorable test results.

"We do good things all year long," she said. "It really isn't just about the scores on the tests. At the same time, if not now, when?"

Collard said a real estate company seemed like an appropriate sponsor because its agents promote communities, so she and Andi Pawlowski, a real estate agent and Lansing City Council member, asked Reilly to help.

"We think it's a tremendous accomplishment," Reilly said of the test results. "We're extremely proud of all their hard work and we encourage them to keep moving forward."

Collard said she hoped the entire community would celebrate with the schools because learning is a building process.

"It's a foundation that they get in every grade. It isn't just here either. It's what they get in preschool. It's what they get from their first teachers. Their first teachers are their parents," she said.

Collard added that all employees at Lansing schools - cooks, custodians, secretaries, aides and teachers - contributed to the students' achievements, so they all received a flower. And students at LES and LIS received a piece of bubble gum.

The old adage "it takes a village to raise a child" seems trite now, Collard said, because it's said so often.

"It still hits the spot. It does take the whole village - the whole community of Lansing - to do what we've done at the schools," she said.

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