Schuylkill Valley Middle School earns Governor's Award for Excellence in Academics

Item photo by Shea Singley School board members (left), Dr. Mitchell and Dr. Mata proudly display the banner to the students, teachers, staff and parents at the talent show.

Schuylkill Valley Middle School was presented with the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Academics during the student talent show on May 23.

“I’m here today because you have a school that has earned this award,” said Dr. Carolyn Dumaresq, Acting Secretary of Education. “Schuylkill Valley School District is the type of school district that we like to talk about when we talk about great things that are happening in public schools in Pennsylvania.”

For a school to receive this award, the school had to have scored a 90 or above on the school performance profile. Schuylkill Valley Middle School earned a 90.8 which is the highest score in the district and the seventh highest score among 102 public schools in Berks County.

“[It] is very hard to do. It means you have to be good at all of your academics, and you have to make sure you’re being promoted, graduating on time,” said Dumaresq. “And the schools and the students in Pennsylvania and the students right here are getting ready to change the world.”

Factoring into the performance score are the results of the PSSA tests and Keystone that students take throughout their primary education. Those present at the assembly acknowledged the hard work of the students that allowed them to perform well on the state tests.

“This award we got today is really because of your great work on the PSSA and the Keystone and the great work of our teachers,” said Dr. Warren Mata, superintendent of Schuylkill Valley School District. “When we’re on that edge of nervousness, the best comes out. Don’t be afraid of that.”

The teachers were also recognized for making a fun and challenging learning environment that allowed the students to do so well on the tests.

“This award would not be happening without the teachers, first of all. They do a fantastic job of differentiating their instruction,” said Dr. Michael Mitchell, principal at Schuylkill Valley Middle School. “When I walk up and down these halls it makes me want to be a teacher again when I watch what they’re doing. They do everything they can to keep you interested for 80 minutes.”

“Our teachers and our aids do a fantastic job of challenging you and getting you ready so when you take the PSSAs and the Keystones, you perform well,” he continued.

Dr. Dumaresq presented the school with a banner for their achievement. Dr. Mata, Dr. Mitchell and present school board members proudly accepted the banner on behalf of the school.

“Students, I hope you take a minute to congratulate yourselves first of all for this great award,” said Dumaresq. “And then thank the citizens who are your local school board, who invest in quality schools. Also thank your parents who were your first teachers to give you the support that you need. And please, thank your teachers, administrators and support staff, who every day give you the tools and the knowledge to be successful.”

The students, teachers, staff, administrators and parents gave a loud round of applause for the hard work of all involved in making Schuylkill Valley Middle School one of the top schools in academic performance.

“I want to congratulate each and every one of you,” said Dumaresq before ending the presentation and letting the students continue with their talent show. “I wish you all the best in your future.”

About the Author

Shea Singley

Shea Singley is the editor of The Hamburg Area Item. She grew up in Berks County and spent three years at the University of Arizona, Tucson, where she double majored in Creative Writing and English before transferring to Kutztown University where she majored in Professional Writing. Shea graduated from Kutztown University in 2012 and during that time completed an internship in the publication department of a non-profit organization in Washington, DC. She joined Berks-Mont Newspapers in March of 2013 and had enjoyed getting the chance to explore the Hamburg area and meet the readers. Reach the author at ssingley@berksmontnews.com or follow Shea on Twitter: @hamburgitem.