Technical school honored by state

A Randolph County school received a prestigious award Wednesday, and a group of staff members traveled to Charleston for the awards ceremony.

The Randolph Technical Center was one of only eight schools in the state to be named a West Virginia School of Excellence.

Don Johnson, director of the school, said he was pleased by the designation.

“To be named a West Virginia School of Excellence is a tribute to the entire staff at Randolph Technical Center,” Johnson said.

“Students choose to come here, since all of our courses are electives, so every decision we make answers the question, ‘Is this good for our students?’ That is how our students and our staff achieve the excellence to earn this award.”

Johnson said the award is based on a comprehensive application process plus a site visit from representatives from the state Department of Education.

“The application requires supporting data in many categories, including student focus and support; school culture; challenging 21st century standards; engaging instruction; professional learning communities; educational leadership and vitality; school, family and community partnerships; and indicators of success.”

Terry George, superintendent of Randolph County schools, said he was proud of the school’s staff and administration.

“There is a tremendous amount of preparation and work that goes into receiving this award,” George said. “The West Virginia State Department of Education sends in teams to evaluate the schools and they collect a huge amount of data. They interview the staff, parents and students in making their determinations.

“This is a testament to the efforts and dedication of Mr. Johnson and his staff at the Randolph Technical Center,” George said.

“It proves their willingness to put their students first. I am very proud of Don and his staff.”

George said the award is another indicator that good things are taking place in the Randolph County education system.

“There are more than 500 schools in West Virginia, and only eight qualified for the West Virginia School of Excellence,” George said. “It is a tremendous honor.”

The Schools of Excellence are selected based on a rigorous and challenging curriculum, a safe and drug-free learning environment, participatory leadership, active teaching and learning, an environment that strengthens teacher skills, documented student achievement and the implementation of advanced and innovated programs.

Winners for the 2013 to 2014 school year also included Hedgesville Elementary School in Berkeley County, Colliers Primary School in Brooke County, Culloden Elementary School in Cabell County, Big Otter Elementary School in Clay County, Maysville Elementary School in Grant County, Herbert Hoover High School in Kanawha County, Mercer County Technical Education Center in Mercer County, Panther Creek Elementary School in Nicholas County, West Liberty Elementary School in Ohio County.