137 receive gold medals at SoCal awards ceremony

— Cheers echoed the gym at South Callaway High School Wednesday evening. The cheers were not for the South Callaway basketball team, but for 137 students who received gold medals at the 10th annual Outstanding Academic Achievement Awards.

“We are giving out 182 medals to 137 students who earned the advanced rating on testing at the end of last year,” Superintendent Mary Lynn Battles said.

The testing was a combination of MAP testing as well as achievement testing in high school academic courses, such as Algebra and Geometry.

“We had four South Callaway High School students who received a perfect score on the end of course assessments,” Battles said.

Tyler Collins (English I), Chris Dzurick (American History), Jonathan Totty (American History) and Cody Wimmer (American History) all received plaques for their perfect scores.

Battles recognized the staff of each individual school in the district, as well as the school board and parents.

“The essential development begins and is nourished in the home. Your current becomes the wind beneath the children’s wings,” Battle said.

Battle commended the students at the end of the program.

“The challenges and expectations facing our students are more than ever,” she said. “We truly live in the best of times and the worst of times. The excellence achieved at exceptional levels is amazing. Students, you will enter into a time that many of us may never see. I truly believe the world will be a better place thanks to the contributions of each of you.”

Battles said it was important to recognize the student’s achievement from the previous year.

“We are looking at the whole picture,” Battles said. “The number one purpose of the school is to educate and challenge our children to new horizons. The number of students who reached this goal is something to celebrate.”

She was excited about the number of family members that showed up for Wednesday night’s event as well.

“It was wonderful for the families to fill the bleachers for an academic achievement event. We have a lot of involved parents. It’s a wonderful district. We really are blessed,” she said.

The schools will also have assemblies at the individual buildings to celebrate the students who received proficient ratings, or the next step below advanced. Close to 600 students will receive the silver medals at the assemblies.

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