|Tue, Sep 02, 2014 10:09 AM
March 12, 2014 | 08:34 AM
With the high school basketball sectional semifinals scheduled to take place in the gymnasium a few hours later, North Harrison held a celebration Friday afternoon with the bleachers packed and a higher noise level than anything the sectional teams could hope for that night.
North Harrison High School welcomed all of the 2,205 students in the corporation to the gymnasium, along with staff, school board members and others for an academic pep rally honoring the school's top ranking in the region achieving A's at all four schools.
"I've got one thing to say," Supt. D. John Thomas said. "I couldn't be more proud of a group of students."
Thomas said North Harrison scored at the top of the list of area schools in ISTEP testing last year.
North Harrison Elementary principal Lisa Jones and student Hannah Bean speak of the school's success Friday afternoon during an academic pep session at the high school gymnasium. (click for larger version)
North Harrison led the way compared to Floyd, Clark, Orange, Washington and Crawford county schools with an 85.3 passing percentage. Crawford County was third, with 84.6 percent; Lanesville fourth, 83.9 percent; and South Harrison schools placed ninth (out of 16) with 73.4 percent.
Thomas said North Harrison performs the best of any school he's been with. He thanked the teachers, staff and parents for their part in the success, but said, ultimately, the decision to try and do their best, and do well, was up to the students.
"We don't want to go backwards; we don't want to lose our 'A'," he said.
Thomas said a reward of some sort will be determined if the schools keep or improve upon their ISTEP scores.
Lance Richards, the school corporation's assistant superintendent, said the top area score for North Harrison is nothing new. They were also tops in the region last year as well as three out of the last four years.
"We exceed state average scores year after year after year," he said.
The pep session included cheers from cheerleaders and songs such as "We Will Rock You" played through the sound system.
Each of the four principals for the school corporation spoke during the pep rally.
Lisa Jones, NHES principal, said all of the students are willing to work hard.
"You decide what needs to be done, and you do it," she said to the students.
Morgan Elementary principal Megan Reynolds said the corporation-wide success is absolutely awesome, and middle school principal Nathan Freed channeled his inner Rick Flair and said, to be the best, you've got to beat the best.
"Let's do this again next year," he said.
High school principal Steve Hatton said he thinks North Harrison is the best high school in the entire state of Indiana.
"There's no doubt achievements will continue in the future," he said.
The celebration also included singing by high school student Zorn Parker and brief speeches from one student from each school.
The winner of the loudest cheering section was North Harrison Middle School, and the school wearing the most blue and white was Morgan Elementary.
ISTEP testing for 2014 began statewide this week.