Paw Paw High School gets state honor

by Kate Evans

Paw Paw High School received special recognition from the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) and the West Virginia Board of Education for exceeding state standards on the 2017-2018 West Virginia Schools Balanced Scorecards for its graduation rate. The scorecards measured school accountability in areas such as academic performance, graduation rate and student success. Some 51 schools of 634 state schools are being recognized.

The school’s award was given at the December 4 Morgan County School Board meeting, which was held at Berkeley Springs High School.

Kathy Hypes and Matt Hicks of the state Department of Education Office of District and School Advancement and West Virginia Board of Education member Nancy White presented Paw Paw Schools Principal Melinda Kasekamp and staff with the honor.

Paw Paw High School is one of 20 West Virginia high schools recognized for exceeding state standards for its four-year graduation rate and also one of 34 state high schools recognized as a West Virginia Distinguished School, said Hypes at the presentation. There are 116 high schools in West Virginia.

100% graduation rate

Paw Paw High School’s graduation rate was 100% for the 2016-2017 school year and it was one of only three schools in the state that achieved a 100% rate that year. Paw Paw High School also had a 100% graduation rate for the 2015-2016 school year. State high school graduation rate data lags a year behind other state school data.

Principal Kasekamp said in an e-mail that it was nice to see the efforts of their staff recognized.

“It takes every staff member on my campus from K-12 to accomplish that rate which is why I had elementary teachers represented on the stage. The climate that the entire staff at Paw Paw Schools creates for students fosters the resiliency and determination the students need to make it the entire way. As always, I am one small part of the equation and the staff deserves all the credit,” Kasekamp said.

Paw Paw Schools Principal Melinda Kasekamp (third from left) accepts Paw Paw High School’s state award for its graduation rate as she is joined by Paw Paw Schools staff and county and state officials. Also pictured with Kasekamp are (left to right) Morgan County School Board member John Rowland, Morgan County Schools Superintendent Dr. Erich May, Paw Paw Schools Assistant Principal Amber Guthrie, school counselor Tina Boswell-Stickley, school social worker Jami Cross teachers Adam Keeling and Anne Helmick, Kathy Hypes-West Virginia Department of Education, state Board of Education member Nancy White and Matt Hicks-state Department of Education.
photo by Ann Bell