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ACS Proud and On the Move

We have been trying to share news about the positive academic and extracurricular activities in ACS for three years; however, it seems that news when it is positive travels very slowly.

In January, I was presenting to a group of professionals about our proposed referendum plans when I was asked what we were going to do about have 57% of our students graduate from Anderson High School.  I smiled and informed this person that she was correct.  In 2012 we graduated 57% of our students, in 2013 we improved to around 81% but since 2014 we had improved to over 90% consistently.  In 2014 we had a 90% graduation rate, in 2015 it was 89.8% and in 2016 it was 94.8%. 

I need you to help me get the good news out in Anderson!  In 2016 we established the ACS Good News and sent out the good news to our staff so they knew about any special honor or activity we were involved with.  Since then we have moved to ACS on the Move and we have increased about distribution lists threefold and include many stakeholders in this mass distribution that is done electronically.

Let me share a few noteworthy news stories of this year.  This is just a sampling of the great things happening at Anderson Community Schools.

Tenth Street Elementary under the direction of new principal DJ Suchocki has opened their doors and encouraged families to participate in their new Food Pantry starting in October.  The pantry supplies families with food that is distributed our partners and volunteers from Eastside Church of God.

Great vision and leadership Mr. Suchocki! 

Ada Erny was our Sertoma Freedom Essay winner and she advanced to the Northern Indiana District!  Ada is from Eastside Elementary School.

The 18th annual Madison County student art exhibition awards ceremony was held at Mounds Mall Sunday, March 5th. The following AHS students won awards for their amazing artwork:


Senior K.J. Davis won 2nd place

Senior Hannah Arline won 3rd place

Senior Tracy Harvey won an AAMC award

Junior Tanner Harvey an Honorable Mention



Senior Rio Santos won 1st place and an Honorable Mention



Junior Jordan Sloss won 1st place

Sophomore Raiden Davis won 2nd place



Junior Ezra Willis won 2nd place



Senior Janice Hobbs won 1st place AND Best in Show!


Anderson High School now has two National Merit Finalists: James Brandon and Joseph Kirkpatrick. Anderson High School is proud to announce that James and Joe have advanced to the final round in the National Merit Scholarship Program. The 15,000 finalists across the country are the highest-scoring finalists in each state on the PSAT and represent less than 1 percent of each state’s high school seniors. Those named in each year’s merit scholarship competition show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

The National Merit Scholarship Program will award 7,500 scholarships this spring to qualifying finalists.  Good luck to James and Joe!  Anderson High School continues to strive for excellence in all that we do!

The Year of the Family was our theme this year as we encouraged principals to invite parents into their buildings to bridge the communication gap.  Here are two examples but every school has been very successful promoting family this school year.

“Game Night” was held on Thursday, February 23rd, at Valley Grove Elementary School.  Approximately 280 parents, students, and staff members joined together for a fun night of games and fellowship. The response was overwhelmingly positive! Parents and students alike have asked to repeat the event again in the near future. Just another way ACS is bringing families and teachers together. #acscFIRST! #acsonthemove

Edgewood Elementary had a FABULOUS turnout for Donuts with Dads.  One of the many ways they are incorporating The Year of the Family. Thanks to all of the Dads and Grandpas who took time out of their day to have breakfast with their Edgewood eagle.

Congratulations to Killbuck Kindergarten Teachers Katie Brandon and Sara Filler on their presentation "Growing Emerging Readers and Writers" at ASCD in Chicago, Illinois.  We are proud of you! #acscFIRST

On January 21st, the AHS show Choirs Vocal Infusion and Vocal Elegance swept the top awards at the Carroll Classic show choir competition held in Ft. Wayne, IN.  Under the guidance of Julie Woods, the two teams took the gold for the first time in her seven years as AHS Choral Director.

Both choirs received Grand Champion Trophies and Caption awards for Best Vocals and Choreography. In addition, freshman Karl Byrd won best Male Solo in a show!

Both choirs were welcomed home to Anderson by a double police escort along with their amazing parents and friends.

Please join Anderson Community Schools in congratulating Tracy, and all Wendy's High School Heisman winners for their hard work and dedication - on and off the field.

High School seniors who are dedicated to learning, leading and performing are eligible. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 (B average) or better. Applicants need to be proven leaders and role models within their school and community. Applicants must also perform in at least one of the 43 school sponsored sports recognized by the International Olympic Committee in the Summer and Winter Olympic Games or the National Federation of State High School Associations.

Angie Vickery, Director of Special Services of ACS, was selected to be on the Indiana Association for the Education of Young Children (IAEYC) Public Policy and Forum Committee. The IAEYC is a statewide, nonprofit organization with 16 chapters and over 2,000 members. Indiana AEYC has a 51-year history of promoting and supporting quality care and education for all young children, birth through age eight, in Indiana. Their mission is accomplished by concentrating on offering professional development for those in the early care and education profession, improving program quality, and championing public policy pertinent to young children.

In late February, Mrs. Vickery met the committee in Washington DC to discuss the importance of the Early Childhood profession, current policy that is on the table for Early Childhood, as well as the federal budget. In addition to sitting in on a committee hearing, Mrs. Vickery met with a variety of representatives from Indiana including Representative Luke Messer (pictured above).

Southview Preschool Principal Shelly Caldwell and her staff did an excellent job having students make artwork for Mrs. Vickery to hand out. The meeting was such a success that Mr. Messer said he plans to visit Southview preschool when he is back in Indiana! #acscFIRST! #acsonthemove

Highland Middle School captures another County Championship!    Highland's 8th Grade Girls Basketball team wins the 2017 Madison County Tournament.    Congratulations Ladies and Coach Courter!!!!!

Congratulations to our Erskine All Star Reader for the month of March. Thanks for promoting literacy our most important lifelong skill Mr. Merkel!

All Star Readers for March include:

R'Montie Duke, Jayleigh Hammitt, Madison Kirby, Haylee Thompson, Ty'Leighana Williams, Patricia Elam, Avah Lane, Jayden Lines, Terrence Matthews, Gabriel Ratcliffe, Ciana Rogers, Abby Shaul, Elliot Highsmith, Royce Lane, Brendan Marcum, Heaven Ferguson, Brandon Hunt, Kobe Kates, Allison Rios, Carson Allen, Peyton Anderson, Damari' Davis, Richard Miguel-Parra, and Uriah Hatt.

Highland Middle School 6th grade boys Basketball team goes undefeated 14-0 this season and is the Madison County Champions.  Congratulations!!!

To say Madison County JAG had a Great Day at the Region 5 CDC competition would be an understatement.

Out of 13 events Madison County placed 1st in 9 events. We also had four 2nd place finishes and six 3rd place finishes to round out the day. 

Hats off to the students of Anderson High School JAG, Pendleton Heights High School JAG, the JAG Specialists and the JAG Coordinator.

Marketing Brochure:

1st                Anderson1

2nd               Pendleton Heights


1st                Anderson1

Service Learning Blog/Video Diary:

3rd                Anderson2         

 Entrepreneurship Plan

1st                Jayon Siler, Lemeira Davis, Zakarius Milhouse          Anderson1

2nd               Calea Joyner, Da’Quez Johnson, Tyneilus Morrow    Anderson2

 2017 Outstanding Senior

1st                Roy Thomas                Anderson1

3rd                Harlei Chavez             Anderson2

Career Presentation

1st                Aaliyah Hardy             Anderson2

3rd                Samuel Hudson           Anderson1      

 Cover Design

1st                Roy Thomas                 Anderson1

2nd               Jordan Sloss                 Anderson2

3rd                Sidney Shoaf                Pendleton Heights         

Creative Solutions

3rd                Keegen Perez             Anderson2      

 Employability Skills

1st                Jaleel Patterson          Anderson1

 Public Speaking

1st                Mickhiya Calloway      Anderson1

2nd               Ja’Brielle Thompson   Anderson2

3rd                Sidney Shoaf               Pendleton Heights

 Writing Skills

1st                Jayden Cox                  Anderson1

St. Vincent CEO and President, Mike Schroyer presented a check to Mr. David Perrell and our winning Rube Goldberg Team for $1,000 for their entry fee at the Nationals being held in Ohio on March 24, 2017.

Community Hospital CEO Beth Tharp, VP of Engagement, and Leah Campbell, Director of Marketing and Communications presented a $2500 check to Mr. Richard Ziuchkovski Calculus II class for their trip to Clemson University where they will compete in the national calculus contest. The Clemson Calculus Challenge is a one day calculus contest for high school students that consist of two components. In the morning students take an individual 90 minute calculus test consisting of 40 multiple-choice questions. The 40 questions range in difficulty from "fairly routine" for the first 10, to "very challenging" for the last 10. The afternoon competition is team oriented. Teams of three to four students compete in a six-round, free-response question tournament. Each round lasts 10 minutes, and a team's score is determined by correctness and time needed to solve the problem. The morning exam and the afternoon problems are designed to test students' knowledge of the topics contained in the Advanced Placement Calculus AB syllabus. Anderson High School is the only School participating from the state of Indiana in the National contest.

Congratulations to the team, educators and parents for their hard work as well our partners at Community Hospital for their generous donation.

Over Spring Break our Show Choirs, Vocal Infusion and Vocal Elegance are participating in Nashville, Tennessee.  The students worked this school year in promoting their trip and raising funds. 

Thanks to Mrs. Sally DeVoe, Executive Director of the Madison County Foundation’s contribution of over $5,000 all of our students will be able to participate in Nashville.

Over 50 HMS choral students participated in the ISSMA solo and ensemble contest for Indiana Middle Schools in last weekend’s competition in Muncie, Indiana. Under the direction of Mrs. Shequez Morman, the choirs consisted of 3 large ensembles and 2 small ensembles. Each group triumphantly took home GOLD and SILVER in several divisions!  

Anderson Community School’s Eastside Elementary Chosen as National Video Challenge Winner!

The Speak Up National Research Project provides participating schools, districts and non-profit organizations with online surveys and reports to collect authentic feedback from students, educators and parents. In addition, they summarize and share the national findings with education and policy leaders in Washington DC.

Mrs. Turner will be receiving a $200 classroom grant for the submission of her “Speak Up America 2016 Video Challenge.” Mrs. Turner and her classroom developed a video showcasing how technology helps them learn in the classroom as well as help keep their parents connected to their progress.

Great job, E2!

In honor of Computer Science Education Week, Ms. Brittany Hunter’s class from Anderson Elementary School completed an Hour of Code.

The class created “Binary Bracelets” during an unplugged activity about binary code by creating their first initials!

We applaud Ms. Hunter for her innovative approach to teaching as well as her student’s hard work in the classroom.

The Indiana State Board of Education has released the individual school letter grades for 2015-16.  The grades for the 2015-2016 school year are based on the new A-F accountability scale.

The A-F letter grade for elementary schools is a combination of students' scores (pass/fail) on the Spring 2016 ISTEP for 3-5th grade students enrolled 162 days or more (50% of total score), and student growth from the Spring 2015 test to the Spring 2016 test administration (50% of total score). Please remember, the 2015 ISTEP and the 2016 ISTEP are two completely different tests.

Improvement scores consist of a complicated formula which assigns students a score of 0 or 50 for low growth, 75 or 100 for average growth, and 150 and 175 for high growth, all based on each student's prior year scaled score. Needless to say, one would expect some students to make low growth, average growth and high growth. 

ACS is pleased that the state has moved to include student growth in this calculation, as this highlights and rewards the outstanding work that each of our staff members put forth daily in meeting the individual needs of each and every student. With that being said, a letter grade based on one test will never accurately measure the hard work and dedication of our staff and the individual student progress made by all of our students on a daily basis.

Scores for all ACS Schools:

Anderson Elementary School:  B

Anderson High School: C

Eastside Elementary School: B

Edgewood Elementary School: C

Erskine Elementary School: B

Highland Middle School: F

Tenth Street Elementary School: C

Valley Grove Elementary School: A


Surrounding County Schools:

Yorktown Elementary School: C

Pleasant View Elementary School (Yorktown): C

Daleville Elementary: C

Frankton Elementary: C

Lapel Elementary: B

Pendleton Elementary: C

Maple Ridge Elementary (Pendleton): C

East Elementary (Pendleton): C

Alexandria Monroe Elementary: C

Anderson Preparatory Academy: C

Elwood Elementary: C

As you can see, overall we are performing at or above other schools in our area. While acknowledging that we have a school that is performing well below all of our expectations, we have implemented new procedures to help all our buildings who are achieving at a lower than expected score and anticipate vast improvements over the next several months. Our mission is clear, we remain steadfast in our goal of inspiring, encouraging and supporting every student to achieve at high levels academically and socially as responsible citizens by doing whatever it takes.

Realness of Race and the Myth of Ethnicity

​Over 100 administrators and educators came together on November 17th, at the Anderson Tanglewood Conference Center to discuss the topic of race and ethnicity within our society. Guest speakers included Ghangis D. Carter, the Director of the Office of Recruitment and Retention for Underrepresented Students in the Indiana University Bloomington (IUB) School of Education and Dr. Christina Wright Fields, academic specialist and the Director of the Balfour Scholars Program (BSP) within School of Education’s Center for P16 Research and Collaboration at Indiana University Bloomington.

Also in attendance were ACS Superintendent, Terry Thompson and ACS Director of Multicultural Education Behavior Services, Dr. Treva Bostic. “We have appreciated the engagement and candor that Dr. Wright and Mr. Carter contributed to this workshop, said Dr. Bostic. By defining race and ethnicity it’s central to analyze how majority and minority identities are constructed. Rather than talking about the individual characteristics or personalities of different individuals one begins to appreciate looking at social identities.

This workshop has been proactive in coming to grips with important changes taking place around the world and especially after the recent presidential elections and how this will affect our students and the work climate. With our efforts, we all share a mission to foster cross- cooperation and dialogues without forgoing our own cultures.”

Tanner King, AHS junior and Eagle Scout, received a very high Scout honor-The Heroism Award at the Boy Scout’s Madison County Distinguished Award Dinner. Congratulations Tanner!!!

Please join Anderson Community Schools in congratulating Tracy Harvey, and all Wendy's High School Heisman winners for their hard work and dedication - on and off the field.

High School seniors who are dedicated to learning, leading and performing are eligible. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 (B average) or better. Applicants need to be proven leaders and role models within their school and community. Applicants must also perform in at least one of the 43 school sponsored sports recognized by the International Olympic Committee in the Summer and Winter Olympic Games or the National Federation of State High School Associations.