U.S. education official gives kudos to Avon Local Schools

AVON, Ohio — The Avon Local Schools’ accomplishments have been noted as far away as Washington, D.C., clearly impressing the assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education.

Frank Brogan has served in the position since 2017 after serving as chancellor of Pennsylvania’s public universities.

On Friday (Oct. 23), Brogan hosted a virtual meeting with the Avon Schools, giving various members of the faculty and administration the opportunity to showcase what the schools have done by way of planning and preparation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, Brogan heard that Avon Middle School has been recognized as a U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon School.

During the meeting, Brogan said, “We would like to show people how to reopen their school — to help them with what you’ve done, to share what you’ve done.”

Avon pupils in grades K-8 have been attending school in person five days a week. High school students attend every other day. All pupils have the option of a fully remote learning model.

Paolo DeMaria, superintendent of schools in Ohio, joined in the conversation. “I am so proud of the Avon Schools.”

Avon Schools Superintendent Michael Laub expressed his pride in the middle school’s accomplishment.

“We have high expectations here and we are held accountable,” he said. He noted that the Avon Schools are ranked in the top 3 percent of school districts in Ohio.

Laub went on to say that Avon pupils are taught the value of the arts and athletics.

“It is important that kids have things to do,” said Laub. “We also have a high-functioning team at the middle school. Our job is to give them the tools.”

He then went through the steps taken over the summer as to how to open the schools, utilizing all precautions and practices. “The Lorain County Health Department has been a critical partner. We are all smarter together.”

Other speakers in Avon were introduced to let Brogan know what is being worked on and what is being accomplished in the schools, including middle school Principal Dr. Craig D. Koehler, who spoke on the goals of leadership, and Mike Ryan, assistant middle school principal, who stressed the importance of extracurricular activities.

Music teacher Peggie Willett treated Brogan to an abbreviated virtual concert with the student orchestra. The tech-robotics students were highlighted, as well.

DeMaria summed it all up when he said how the Avon Schools’ accomplishments represented a meaningful goal for other schools to follow.

“It warms my heart to see what you are doing,” he said. “You made my day.”

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