Hello and welcome to my column. Let me take this opportunity to congratulate all the staff at the Glenwood Early Childhood Center, which was recently named one of Oklahoma’s elite A+ Schools. Way to go, Glenwood!

Ada’s Glenwood Early Childhood Center was among nine state schools added to the A+ roster this year, joining only 31 other schools to have that distinction. According to the Oklahoma Department of Education, there are 1,783 schools in the state so you can clearly see what an outstanding honor this is!

During the awards reception at the State Capitol earlier this month, Ada had the largest number of supporters of any of the newly minted A+ Schools. Fellow Ada City Council member Darrell Nemecek, Sen. Susan Paddack, and I were there and we were so proud of that. Ada received many compliments on that support from other schools.

The A+ Schools concept was conceived in North Carolina as a set of education-based commitments. The program was duplicated in this state in 2002 and is now administered by the University of Central Oklahoma, which named Glenwood an A+ School.

There are eight essential commitments that a school must meet before earning A+ status: the arts, the curriculum, multiple intelligences, experiential learning, enriched assessment, collaboration, infrastructure, and climate. This space does not permit more explanation of these commitments, but you can learn more at www.okaplus.ucok.edu.

I want to praise all the teachers and staff at Glenwood Early Childhood Center for the hard work they do educating this community’s children. Glenwood is the first school in Ada’s system, so students have the opportunity of getting off to a very strong start. I also want to thank Ada Superintendent Pat Harrison for his stewardship.

I especially want to praise Glenwood Principal Sandy Poe. She is a jewel of an educator and Ada is very lucky to have her. Before Glenwood, she worked as the local Oklahoma Parents as Teachers coordinator and she was also a key player in bringing the Success By 6 program to Ada. Her credentials are impeccable and her dedication is incredible.

Making your way in the world as we know it today is so challenging. It’s absolutely essential that our little ones get all they can to succeed. Sandy Poe and all of Glenwood’s excellent educators have embraced this holistic teaching approach and the results speak for themselves. Again, great job! We are so proud of you and happy for our children!

I hope you enjoyed this column. Be sure to check back every other week for more. To read my archived columns, visit www.adaok.com/donna_york.htm. Drop me a line at mayor@adaok.com and share your thoughts with me. I’ll keep you informed!

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