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Elizabeth Forward Middle School designated a School to Watch

| Friday, May 10, 2013, 7:32 a.m.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
Elizabeth Forward Middle School principal Michael Routh welcomes guests attending a celebration of the school's recent designation as a Pennsylvania Don Eichhorn Schools: School to Watch on Thursday.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
Students Felicia Yocolano, Hunter Humenik, Avari Reed and Brianna Panek served as masters of ceremony at an assembly celebrating their school's designation as a Pennsylvania Don Eichhorn Schools: School to Watch.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
Elizabeth Forward Middle School celebrated its recent designation as a Pennsylvania Don Eichhorn Schools: School to Watch on Thursday with an assembly. It is one of 33 schools in the state to be so desingated.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
Elizabeth Forward Middle School students carry a banner celebrating the school's recent designation as a Pennsylvania Don Eichhorn Schools: School to Watch.

Being designated a Pennsylvania School to Watch by Don Eichhorn Schools is no simple feat.

Elizabeth Forward Middle School is one of only 33 in the state to achieve that distinction this year, being recognized for its academic excellence, developmental responsiveness and social equitability.

School officials and students celebrated with an assembly on Thursday.

The school received a banner and plaque, and a visit from Schools to Watch state director Bruce Vosburgh.

Vosburgh said schools recognized by Eichhorn have a sense of purpose and ambition and become models for other schools.

He said teachers, staff and parents are interviewed when a school is being considered for the honor. It's a process that brings communities together, he said.

Many local elected officials attended the assembly, which featured music from the school's chorus, jazz band and orchestra. Students Hunter Humenik, Brianna Panek, Avari Reed and Felicia Yocolano served as masters of ceremony.

District Assistant Superintendent Todd Keruskin said the school is living up to the district's motto of “Watch Us Grow” by adopting anti-bullying programs, by aligning its curriculum with state standards and by thoroughly analyzing student performance data.

Nationwide, there are 333 Schools to Watch. South Allegheny Middle School received the designation in 2009 and 2012.

Other schools receiving the designation this year include Neshannock Junior High School in New Castle, Sheffield Area Middle/High School in Sheffield and South Side Middle School in Hookstown.

They and Elizabeth Forward were recognized at the Pennsylvania Association for Middle Level Education Conference in State College on Feb. 24.

The term of a designation is three years.

Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1966, or eslagle@tribweb.com.

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