Special Celebration Honors Students for Academic Achievement

Columbus, Ohio (December 18, 2012) – Over 250 students, parents, and administrators packed into the crowded gymnasium at Imagine Groveport Community School on Monday morning for a very special ceremony. The assembly was an Academic Achievement Celebration that was held to recognize and honor students at Imagine who achieved academic progress gains of one year or more, during the past year. An earlier celebration was held last Wednesday for students at Imagine Great Western Academy. The opening greeting for the celebration events was given by Dennis Bakke and his wife, Eileen, co-founders of the Imagine Schools organization. The guest speaker was Stanley Jackson, former quarterback and captain of the 1996-1997 Ohio State University football team that won the 1997 Rose Bowl. He was also recently appointed by Governor Kasich to serve on the Ohio State Board of Education. In encouraging speeches, Jackson shared personal stories about perseverance and overcoming struggles as a child growing up in New Jersey. He congratulated all of the students on their academic success and inspired them to strive for their own goals and dreams. After the assemblies, the students eagerly waited in line for autographs and photos with one of their role models. “You are all dominators,” Jackson praised. “And you are enrolled at the perfect school right now. It is called Imagine Schools, and if you want to be a doctor, or a football player, or whatever your dream is – if you can imagine it, then you can accomplish it.” Many students at Imagine Schools begin their year at a grade level that is two to four years academically behind where they are expected to be, which is often attributable to falling behind at the student’s previous school. When measuring academic achievement, Imagine Schools places important emphasis on same student learning gains. Teachers gauge students’ progress by testing them at the beginning of the school year and again at the end, allowing the school to get an accurate picture of how much students have progressed in one year. Imagine Schools is taking accountability for a brighter future by recognizing the accelerated growth of these students who had the significant achievement of making greater than a year of academic progress at Imagine after being left behind in their former schools. About Imagine Schools Imagine Schools is a unique organization that operates 71 public charter schools across the nation, including 17 Ohio campuses and six in the Columbus area. The non-profit organization serves more than 40,000 students each year, making strides to educate children in a welcoming and nurturing environment. Imagine Great Western Academy is located at 310 North Wilson Road in Columbus and currently educates students in grades K-8.  Imagine Groveport Community School is located at 4485 South Hamilton Rd in Groveport and currently educates students in grades K-8. About Stanley Jackson Stanley Jackson was quarterback and captain of the 1996-1997 Ohio State University football team that won the 1997 Rose Bowl. Following his career at Ohio State, Jackson played professional football for four years in the Canadian Football League and is now a color analyst for the Ohio State Buckeyes pre-game and post-game show on 610AM WTVN. Jackson was recently appointed by Governor Kasich to serve on the Ohio State Board of Education.

                 # # #