Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

November 8, 2012

Hager celebrates success in testing

Mark Maynard
The Independent

ASHLAND — On Tuesday, Hager Elementary was the site of several voting precincts in Boyd County.

A day later, there was even more commotion in the tiny gym.

Hager celebrated its recent honor as a “School of Distinction” as a result of students’ performance during the most recent K-PREP tests.

The Wulfe Bros. Band, a high-energy, kid-friendly educational group, performed with the student body and faculty in full party mode.

“We wanted to make it memorable, make it last,” said Phillip Caudill, Hager principal. “This award is a combination of several things, including students’ effort and teachers’ hard work.”

Hager ranks as the 10th-highest performing school of 733 elementary schools in the state. The school is in the 99th percentile, with the distinction going to those in the top 95 percentile, Caudill said.

The honor was made known Friday, but the staff knew of the recognition a few days before. That’s when officials decided to do something special, which is why the Wulfe Bros. were invited to perform a high-energy act focused on audience participation. The group, which is from Louisville, performs at many school-based functions.

Teachers and students seemed to enjoy themselves in the packed gymnasium with several fun-friendly songs.

The data graded was from the 2011-12 school year and included third through sixth grade. Those sixth-graders are now seventh-graders at Verity Middle School. “But they should share in this honor, too,” Caudill said. “We wanted to include all the kids (in the celebration) to make sure they knew how special this was.”

Caudill also said the Ashland Independent School District’s support in the Response to Intervention training was important. The district funded the program that targets children who are not getting certain skills. Hager focused on math and reading, he said.

Paul Wulfe, one of the three brothers who performed, said Hager was one of the most impressive schools they had seen. They take their act to Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio.

“As much as they’ve done, this is a very big deal,” he said. “I’m not sure we’ve ever been at a ‘School of Distinction.’ I’m real impressed with everybody here. Ashland should be very proud.”

MARK MAYNARD can be reached at mmaynard@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2648.