Youngstown schools, board member earn kudos

YOUNGSTOWN — The Youngstown Board of Education celebrated some good news at its regular meeting.

Superintendent Jeremy Batchelor announced six buildings across the district earned state awards for significant improvement, and board member Brenda Kimble had been acknowledged by her peers in Northeast Ohio for her service to the district.

Five buildings — Chaney Middle School at McGuffey, Rayen Early College Middle School, Harding Elementary, MLK Elementary and Volney Rogers School — received Momentum Awards from the Ohio Department of Education, while Rayen Early College High School received an Overall 5-Star Building Award.

According to the ODE website, the Momentum Award is given to schools that have “demonstrated outstanding improvement in achievement while also continuing to show growth.” Districts or buildings within a district receive the award for performance index improvements of three or more points from the 2021-22 report card to the 2022-23 report card, coupled with a value-added progress rating of four or more stars.

The 5-Star Building Award is presented to buildings that exceeded state standards on the state report card across all the rated components, including achievement, progress, gap closing, early literacy, graduation and college / career / workforce / military readiness.

“We’re not where we want to be, but we’re sure not where we used to be,” Batchelor said Tuesday at the board meeting.

On Monday, Batchelor and some other members of the district attended the Ohio School Boards Association Northeast Region spring conference, where Kimble was recognized as a “Master Board Member.”

The award is given to school board members who complete all four components of the Association’s STAR (service, training, aptitude and recognition) program within a three-year period. Those who do are eligible for the association’s All-Ohio School Board Award, by nomination from their regional awards committee.

Kimble is one of three people statewide to earn the Master Board Member award this year, and the only one from the northeast region.

The positivity comes amid negative attention in recent months.

The district is facing a federal investigation into its finances, while criminal charges of domestic violence were brought against a dean of students, and a football coach had an OVI charge reduced to loss of physical control. There also is news of pending personnel cuts amid a looming budget deficit.

Have an interesting story? Contact Dan Pompili at dpompili@vindy.com.


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