Remarkable perhaps to some, but not to those living in Zachary, is that the Zachary Community School District was ranked number one again by the Louisiana Department of Education with the release of the fall 2012 district performance data Oct. 22.
Since 2008, the ZCSD has showed overall growth of a score increase of 20 percent. In 2012, the district grew 13.4 points putting the overall district performance score (DPS) at 134.7.
“We are proud to celebrate the continued success of our school district with our eighth straight year at number one. Moreover, we're excited that this continues to affirm the quality of education we know is taking place in our schools every day,” said Interim Superintendent Gordon Robertson.
Last night, parents, students, district officials, school board members, principals and the community celebrated this latest achievement with a party that included spectacular performances from spirit groups such as the Northwestern Middle dancers and cheerleaders, Zachary High Belles, cheerleaders, band, flag and JROTC students.
Emcee for the night, ZHS head football coach Neil Weiner, led a spirit contest among all the schools in the district, with Zachary Early Learning Center taking home the banner.
"They may be small in stature but Zachary Early Learning Center definitely has the most spirit tonight," Weiner said.
In addition, each school and its principal received a banner and an award marking their latest achievements, as did the school board.
Another memorable performance was the Flash Mob by Zachary Elementary students, who also performed their routine in the ZHS Homecoming parade Oct. 19.
Attendees of the celebration heard from Mayor David Amrhein, interim superintendent Gordon Robertson, superintendent-elect Scott Devillier and school board president Jannie Rogers, all of whom remarked on the outstanding efforts of the students, teachers and principals of each school.
The mood was celebratory and many parents, officials, teachers and students could be seen dancing, screaming, yelling and celebrating another year at the top.
City officials, principals and school district personnel threw prizes, t-shirts and more into the bleachers and into the hands of kids and parents.
To cap off a perfect evening, the City of Zachary sponsored a spectacular fireworks display for all to enjoy.
Zachary was also one of seven districts in the state this year to receive an "A" rating, but was the only district to do so in 2011.
School performance scores of the district's five traditional schools are: Northwestern Elementary, 126.2; Zachary Elementary, 126.6; Copper Mill Elementary, 121.1; Northwestern Middle, 124.5; and Zachary High, 149.9.
Port Hudson Career Academy, the district's alternative school, also showed growth with an SPS of 64.1 which is up from 43 in 2011.
For much more from Thursday night's school and community celebration, be sure to get your Nov. 7 issue of the Zachary Plainsman-News!