The students at CMSD's Early College High School at John Hay
were already primed and ready to celebrate another academic success. By the end of a ceremony marking that achievement, they were overwhelmingly “Fired Up and Ready to Go.”
So they applauded loud and long when school Principal Carol Lockhart lauded the senior class for its most recent academic feat: Finishing as the number one high school in Northeast Ohio on the 2013 Ohio Graduation Test.
And they went wild for freshman Elijah Price, who was honored by the Cleveland Police and RTA police for his efforts on Aug. 19, the first day of classes, in aiding rescue workers when a passenger had a medical emergency.
But things really came unglued when motivational speaker Jae Williams of First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland took the stage. Williams, a youth minister and longtime Cleveland radio host, whipped the students and faculty into a frenzy by recalling the phrasing of one key volunteer in the Obama presidential campaigns: “Fired up! Ready to go!” (See http://bit.ly/1h9f7wV
“How does it feel to be number one! It feels good, doesn't it?” Williams asked the students and staff, exhorting them to wear their number one ranking proudly, noting that theCleveland public school had outperformed every other school, including suburban schools, in the region. “Are you fired up? Are you ready to go?”
The Friday afternoon ceremony at John Hay was just the official recognition that earlier in September when state report cards were released that the Early College high school was tops in Northeast Ohio on the OGT and had the sixth-highest Performance Index score out of more than 3,500 Ohio schools. The index measures only what students know, not other metrics like graduation rates as indicators of a school's academic prowess.
Principal Lockhart also picked up the “Fired Up! Ready toGo!” refrain, but also reminded the students that while the celebration was appropriate, the work would begin again on Monday. “Remember, you move from good to great by what you do –not what you talk about,” she said. “Now let's go have some refreshments, but let's be ready for the hard work that comes next.”
CMSD's Early College High School, which has a graduation and college acceptance rate of 100 percent, has a record of success more than a decade in the making, having been rated “Excellent” by the Ohio Department of Education and a “School of Promise” by the Ohio State Superintendent for 12 consecutive years along with a host of other awards.
John Hay on Stokes Boulevard is home to three District high schools: Cleveland Early College, Cleveland School of Science and Medicine and Cleveland School of Architecture and Design.