Area schools vie for Golden Ruler for a second time
Twice is nice.
For the second consecutive year two area school districts, the Salem School District and the Melbourne School District, have been selected to compete for the annual Golden Ruler Award which is given by Channel 11 in Little Rock and the Arkansas Department of Education.
Only 10 school districts statewide are nominated for the award each year, which rewards academic achievement.
Salem High School Principal Wayne Guiltner said he doesn't know all the criteria used to determine the winner, but the Benchmark tests and end of year school exam taken by the senior class are taken into consideration.
"The Benchmark tests are given children when they're in the 4th, 6th and 8th grades," Guiltner said. "The end of course exam tests the seniors proficiency in algebra, geometry and literacy. Average scores in those tests play a key role."
All schools in the state are grouped into one category, without regard for overall student population, Guiltner said.
The winner of the award will be announced at ceremony Nov. 1 at the Governor's Mansion in Little Rock.
Guiltner said the Salem School District will send a contingent of administrators, teachers, school board members and students to represent the school at the ceremony.
He said all 10 schools will be announced in the order in which they finished, starting with 10th.
Last year Salem finished fifth and Melbourne finished sixth in the Golden Ruler competition.
"We really wanted to make sure it wasn't a one-time deal," Guiltner said. "We hope to stay up there consistently."
He hopes the Salem School District wins the competition, but Guiltner said he won't be disappointed if the district falls short of the number one spot.
"Hey, being in the top 10 is very impressive and we'll take that every time," Guiltner said.
Other school districts nominated for the award are Valley View, Bentonville, Searcy, Fayettville, Greenwood, Parker's Chapel, Valley Spring and Bergman.
Melbourne Superintendent Gerald Cooper was in Little Rock last week and unavailable for comment.