Delaware Hayes High School Principal Richard Stranges announced Monday afternoon that Hayes has been selected as a 2018 Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Points of Light School.
Earlier this month, two educators from the Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence visited Hayes for two days and toured the building, sat in on lessons, and spoke to community members to determine if Hayes would qualify for the prestigious award.
Just after dismissal on Monday, Stranges made the announcement in front of the staff at Hayes.
“We did it!” Stranges said. “They reached out and were very, very kind about what they saw. They gave us feedback, and it’s all doable. None of it is about culture.”
Stranges said the educators from Blue Ribbon said they have been evaluating schools for 25 years and have never seen a more “caring or compassionate” culture than the one between the staff and students at Hayes.
Stranges added he’d been depressed about the lack of a response from Blue Ribbon last week and was thrilled when he got the email Saturday afternoon.
“This journey to excellence that we’re on not only affects us, but it affects our community,” Stranges told the staff. “All of them have a piece of this. Thank you all, I’m so proud of you and proud to be here.”
Stranges said Hayes is the first school in Ohio to receive the award in 2018.
“I’ve been dreaming that this type of acknowledgement and award would come to a school that has worked so hard,” Stranges said after the announcement. “In all my years, I’ve never seen a school that has worked so hard to get better.”
Stranges said Blue Ribbon said the areas of the school that could improve were giving teachers more time to collaborate together and using data to drive education.
“These are doable things,” Stranges said. “I see us on a trajectory to get better. This feedback will drive us to something great. I’m excited. It’s fun! This doesn’t happen just anywhere.”
Delaware City Schools Board of Education Student Member and Hayes senior Caroline Binkley said Monday that she was honored that Hayes was selected.
“I feel privileged and honored to be a part of a Blue Ribbon school!” Binkley said. “As a Hayes senior, I have witnessed the evolution of its culture under the administration’s exemplary leadership. My sincerest hope is that this community, overflowing with Pacer pride, will draw more families into Delaware!”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.