Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

June 13, 2013

York Elementary named a Four Star School

MIDDLEBURY — It’s not a secret anymore.

“One of the former superintendents used to say that York Elementary was the best-kept secret in Elkhart County,” said Middlebury Community Schools Superintendent Jane Allen.

However, when the elementary was recognized as a Four Star School by the Indiana Department of Education in May, York, its staff and students, were moved into the spotlight.

What made the achievement even more impressive is that York is the only elementary in Elkhart County to be given the honor. Northridge High School in Middlebury was also awarded a Four Star rating.

York Elementary is a kindergarten through third-grade school with 250 students.

“I know you’re not supposed to be prideful,” Allen said, “But I can’t help it. Everyone worked so hard to succeed. The best part is that the kids worked so hard because they love coming to school — and they want to come to school because of the atmosphere in the building.”

For Allen, a former principal at York, the success is extra sweet.

“I can say as a former principal and now as a superintendent that this is amazing,” Allen said. “Everyone in all our school buildings works very hard, but it’s just that in some cases it works better in some places.”

York Elementary School Principal Yvonne Buller couldn’t agree more.

“Everyone is just so diligent on wanting to do the right thing for the kids while working to meet all the requirements,” Buller said. “This award just affirmed all the hard work that’s been done.”

Buller found out from Allen about the school’s Four Star rating in May.

“I believe what they tell me,” Buller said. “But I just wanted to see it on paper.”

Following an email Buller received a certificate and letter, signed by the state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz, in the mail several weeks later.

“At the end of that day, I pulled all the staff into the lobby — which means either good or bad news,” Buller said. “I was grinning from ear to ear so they weren’t worried for long. And then I told them.”

Buller said the staff celebrated and worked to keep the announcement in the forefront of their thoughts during last few weeks of school.

The state Department of Education established the 25th percentile cut score, which combines the passing percentages of the ISTEP English/language arts and mathematics scores, as well as the percentages of students who pass both sections. In addition a qualifying school must have a 95 percent student participation rate.

The data collected was based on last year’s performance. At York Elementary, 93.75 percent passed the math portion of the testing and 89.36 percent passed the English/language arts portion. A little more than 87 percent of students passed both sections.

For Buller, the Four Star rating is based on more than just ISTEP scores.

“I see the stars as representing four different things — community, staff, students and parents,” Buller said. “We’ve got a community that is really embracing us right now. We have a lot of volunteers from the business community as well as grandparents and also parents who may no longer have kids at the school.”

Buller also acknowledges that many parents see the need and value of partnering with the school to make it grow and be better. Working that angle pays off, according to Buller.

“The staff of course is so diligent,” Buller said. “They have to be up on the latest strategies and work very hard to get things done.”

Another big component, she said, is that students have to want to learn.

“When all those things are aligned you get success,” Buller said. “And that’s what’s happening at York right now.”

In the York principal’s view, being at the top is a great place to be.

“You never let up because now you will always believe you can achieve this,” Buller said. “Now we are thinking, ‘What can we do beyond that?’ But for now, we know that we are at a really strong place and have a good foundation to keep building on. This is such a great honor.”

Sandy Fireoved has been a teacher at York for almost 39 years. For her the award was exciting, but certainly not surprising.

“I’ve always known that this was a good school,” Fireoved said. “Everybody works hard. It is a great place to teach and a great community to be a part of. So I really feel like we deserved that award. There are no prima donnas here. Everyone learns from everyone else. We all work together.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • GN140420 ysk kalil 01.jpg You Should Know: Anthony Kalil GOSHEN -- Goshen native Anthony Kalil has been awarded a Richard Trucker Career Grant, which includes a $10,000 cash prize. He currently lives in New York. The grant is awarded to three of America's top young opera singers who are selected after a by

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • GN140420 The 39 Steps Taking 'Steps' in Bristol BRISTOL -- The Elkhart Civic Theatre crew is set to present the classic Alfred Hitchcock mystery "The 39 Steps" at The Bristol Opera House. Performances of "The 39 Steps" are planned for two weekends -- this coming Friday and Saturday and May 2 and 3

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140420 Kokomo Tornado 03 Recent decisions by FEMA have frustrated state and local leaders KOKOMO, Ind. -- Pamela Jackson thought she was lucky to escape harm as a tornado bore down on her neighborhood last November. She huddled in a bathroom with her two disabled sons, critically ill husband and six other family members as the twister ble

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • GN140418 ghs high mileage team 12.jpg Goshen High School Super Mileage team to compete in national competition for third straight year GOSHEN -- The Goshen High School Super Mileage team is heading to Houston this week to compete in the Shell Eco Marathon for the third consecutive year. The team, led by engineering technology teacher J.J. Johnson, is taking two cars to the competiti

    April 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • BIZ GN0420 tech talk image Mistakes businesses make with their home page Mistakes businesses make with their home page

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140420 boston marathon 04.jpg Undeterred by last year's bombing, several locals return for Monday's Boston Marathon GOSHEN "Boston Strong" is the moniker that emerged from Boston a year ago, describing the way people dealt with the tragic events that marred the 117th annual running of the Boston Marathon. Three spectators were killed and 264 more people injured w

    April 19, 2014 5 Photos

  • GN140419 good friday 04 Local Christians reflect in advance of Easter Sunday GOSHEN - Members of the community gathered at First Presbyterian Church of Goshen to observe Good Friday with a Stations of the Cross tour.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Briefly Elkhart Store opens at mall Creative Life Memories is now open at Concord Mall. The store is owned by Jose Elizalde, a native of Chicago, Goshen College graduate and resident of Elkhart County. CLM specializes in engraving and personalizing small gif

    April 19, 2014

  • GN140419 cyclists return 05 Trio of GC alums return from Pan-American trek GOSHEN — The dream for a pan-American cycling adventure was born for Levi Smucker, Abe Stucky, and Michael Miller on the couches in a dormitory room at Goshen College in late 2010,

    April 18, 2014 5 Photos

  • GN140419 children's book experience 'Children's Book Experience' Saturday at Better World Books

    A “Children’s Book Experience” for young people in elementary and middle school is set from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at Better World Books in downtown Goshen.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

There has been discussion at West Goshen Elementary School to require mandatory student uniforms in the future. How do you feel about the prospect of mandatory student uniforms in a public school environment?

I think it’s an excellent idea that is way overdue
I think it’s a bad idea and would be restrictive for students and parents.
     View Results
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest