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Levy support, CEO's award top 2016 stories

CMSD's progress won impressive endorsements last year, first from CEO Eric Gordon’s peers across the country and then from voters at home.
The outpourings of respect and support are clear choices for the District's top stories in 2016, but down the list the selection grows more difficult. Cases can be made for some that didn't make the cut: Garrett Morgan High School being named Ohio's first gold winner in the nationwide Healthy Schools Program. Charter schools and the District setting aside their rivalry in a spirit of collaboration. And a YouTube favorite, a CMSD art teacher using a 3D printer to make a prosthetic arm for a student .
But on with the list. The CMSD News Bureau's picks for the schools' Top 10 stories of 2016 are:
1) Voters show confidence in Cleveland Plan, renew levy by wide margin
More than two-thirds of voters said yes to the four-year renewal of a levy that provides 10 percent of CMSD's operating budget and is key to carrying out reform. The levy received majorities in precincts across the city.

2) CEO named Urban Educator of the Year
CEO The Council of the Great City Schools named CMSD Chief Executive Officer Eric Gordon its Urban Educator of the Year, the highest honor available to an urban superintendent in the United States. He had been a finalist in each of the three years that he was eligible. 

3) Attendance campaign reaches goal
When the previous school year ended in June, the "Get 2 School. You Can Make It!" campaign had reduced chronic absenteeism by more than 6 percent. The community, led by the Cleveland Browns and other partners, rallied behind the attendance push.

4) Graduation rate hits new high
The release of new state report cards in September showed that the District's four-year graduation rate had reached 69.1 percent, the latest in a series of new highs. The rate has increased 17 percentage points since 2011.

5) School at MetroHealth believed to be first for nation
MetroHealth Students at the Lincoln-West School of Science Health, which opened in July, spend part of their time in classrooms that the hospital has set aside exclusively for their use. The exposure allows students to observe a wide variety of careers -- medical and support positions such as marketing and communications -- available in the health-care industry.

6) CMSD announces six new high school models
The models, which will open next school year, include an aerospace and maritime school, the long-awaited Campus International High School and the District's second Bard High School Early College, operated in partnership with Bard College. Cleveland will be the first city outside of New York to have two of the Bard schools.

7) Robotics team wins world championship
A group of 25 CMSD students from eight high schools joined peers from three other U.S. cities to win a world robotics championship.  The team is believed to be the first from Ohio to win the competition since it began 25 years ago.

8) Ten standouts win first Excellence in Teaching Awards
CMSD, the Cleveland Teachers Union and the Cleveland and George Gund foundations created the awards program to honor exemplary teachers and showcase their practices.

9) Browns install three turf fields; two more planned 
Browns Senate Athletic League football teams played this year on new fields at Roye Kidd, James Ford Rhodes and Bump Taylor stadiums. Along with the fields, the Browns donated and installed new, larger scoreboards.

10) Hillary Clinton visits John Marshall
Clinton made a campaign stop in August at the John Marshall Campus, home to schools of information technology, engineering and civic and business leadership. The Democratic presidential candidate said she "saw the future" of education at the schools, which opened in 2015.