APS career education students honored
The end of the school year brings recognition to outstanding students, and it was the high school career education students’ turn at the Akron Public Schools (APS) Board of Education meeting May 21.
Howard Lawson, director of career education, said about 300 APS students qualified for the national level in various career-focused competitions.
Firestone High School Administrative Office Technology teacher Heather Curry said 18 Firestone students won national Torch Awards from the Business Professionals of America (BPA). The Torch Award recognizes BPA members’ leadership and service to their communities, she said.
Five of the Firestone students were on hand to receive their recognition: Derrick Adams, Corbin Bates, Taneeya Cooper, Richard LaPilusa and Tashirah Lott.
Twenty Firestone students qualified for national BPA competition in fundamental accounting and/or won Entrepreneur Exploration or Torch Awards, according to district officials.
Buchtel High School students Lyric Henderson and Shonda Johnson are national finalists in the Family Career and Community Leaders of America’s Illustrated Talk competition category, according to district officials.
Buchtel marketing student Jade Shropshire was awarded a $200 scholarship from the Akron Rotary.
Todd Harpst, president of the Sub-Contractors Association of Northeast Ohio, presented two scholarships to APS students who will pursue construction-trade studies in college. The Jim Beal scholarships are named for the retired APS school architect, who was on hand for the presentations.
One of the two $1,000 scholarships was awarded to Firestone’s Leanna Sherman, who plans to attend The University of Akron and major in mechanical engineering, according to district officials.
Julia Mann, APS executive director of secondary schools, announced that the just-released results of the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT) show that out of more than 1,300 district seniors, all but 10 passed all five sections of the test.
All but two of Buchtel’s seniors passed the test, and all of Firestone’s seniors have, according to district officials.
The state has required passage of the test to graduate since 2007, according to district officials. In 2007, 95 APS seniors did not pass all sections, and Mann thanked all the teachers and other staff members who have worked hard to reduce that nonpassage number so dramatically.
There is a summer OGT program to help those students pass the remainder of the test, she said.
Treasurer Jack Pierson presented a draft of the upcoming five-year financial forecast to be submitted to the Ohio Department of Education. The district must wait for data on other schools on open enrollment, charter school and voucher students to finalize its projections.
The good news is that enrollment is a bit higher than he had projected earlier, resulting in around $1.5 million more in state aid, he said. Next year’s state aid will be flat, Pierson predicted, but the district will start receiving some funding from new casino revenues. The APS should get at least a 1 percent gain in state revenues from casinos, he said.
Because of decreases in other funding sources and the failure of the district’s operating levy this past November, though, the APS still will end up this fiscal year nearly $2 million in debt.
“We must substantially reduce expenditures and increase revenue” was the conclusion of Pierson’s report.
Superintendent David James said district officials are continuing to look at expenses and places to reduce.
Pierson added that if a levy is not passed in calendar year 2012 to bring in new money, “we will have to reduce expenses by $29 million next year.”
Board member Patrick Bravo reminded the audience of the APS PROUD event, which will take place May 30 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Lock 3 Park in Downtown Akron. There will be food, games, prizes and entertainment by APS students.
The board’s next regular meeting is set for June 11 at 5:30 p.m. at the Sylvester Small Administration Building, 70 N. Broadway.
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