WEST PORTSMOUTH -- The Washington-Nile School District has been honored by the state Department of Education as a recipient of the Banner of Excellence With Distinction award.
The award was announced by School District Superintendent Patricia Ciraso at Wednesday night's board meeting.
It was presented by Jane Sonenshein, district representative for the Ohio State Board of Education. Nine students and faculty members representing the three buildings came forward to accept the award.
"It was the staff and the students who did the work that made this award possible, and so we wanted these representatives to accept the banner," Ciraso said.
Sonenshein said districts that win the banner are judged on a number of factors, including test scores, attendance, percentage of students graduating and standards that add value to the district's accomplishments.
Ciraso said the banner carried an added significance for Washington-Nile.
"We were judged with the highest value-added accomplishment in Region 15, which includes Scioto, Pike, Lawrence and Ross counties," she said. "I'm well pleased that the state saw that we accomplished significant growth in all the standards."
The district also received another award Wednesday.
"The state Department of Education has recognized Portsmouth West Middle School as a School of Promise in the areas of reading and math," Ciraso said.
"It's takes hard work to meet these standards," Sonenshein said. "There are many influences on students' lives. Your influence is here, in the classroom, and I commend educators, students and parents alike for what you are accomplishing here."
The district got a financial boost at Wednesday's meeting from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry. Matt Morgan, forest administrator, presented the board with a check for $49,057.44.
The amount represents the school district's share of timber sales from the forest over the past year. A portion of those sales (32.5 percent) is evenly split between the school district and the local township.
"The Division of Forestry has always done what it can for us. I remember the ice storm (five years ago) when they helped us clear away fallen trees. We're very thankful," Ciraso said.