I am a proud graduate of the Lima City Schools as is my husband. I am a proud parent of Lima Senior High School graduates and I am honored to be able to serve as president of the Lima School Board.
Let me tell you why I and so many in this community have such great pride in this school district.
The offerings at the Lima City Schools are unmatched by any school in our region. Our 11 Career Tech programs offer hands-on, real-work experience, including in our student-run restaurant and auto garage and on our new 30-acre farm.
Our music and art programs are top notch at every level, including a full orchestra program that begins in the fourth grade. We have 35 performance ensembles throughout our schools and art shows featuring work of all ages throughout the year.
Our students of all ages are involved in an array of groups and activities: STEM Club, Astronomy Club, Drama Club, Skills USA, Environmental Club, Kiwanis student clubs that teach students to give back and so much more. There is something for everyone in the Lima City Schools.
The Lima City Schools meets students where they are and helps them grow. That may mean giving extra supports for a struggling student or adding more rigor and challenges for our advanced students. Whatever the need – we will embrace it and we will meet it.
Our ability to rise to any challenge has never been as evident as this school year. The Lima City Schools has remained in session with five-days a week in-person learning despite the COVID-19 pandemic. We have done everything needed to keep our students and staff safe while continuing meaningful education. Our staff planned and improvised, doing whatever it needed to for our in-school and on-line students.
Naysayers like to point to the state report card as why the district I love is not for them or their children. First of all, despite an unfair testing and report card system, the Lima City Schools continues to make gains and will keep doing so.
But more importantly, this community needs to understand that the report card does not define us and certainly does not paint an accurate picture of our school district and the successes that happen every day.
The report card doesn’t show our Lima Senior DECA students yearly qualifying for the international competition. It doesn’t tell the story of being the only high school in the state to compete in the NASA Rover Challenge.
It doesn’t show our students performing on stage, volunteering in the community, earning scholarship dollars, or heading to college and beyond after graduation. It doesn’t show the love and compassion our staff gives to our students and families to help them find success and to give them a helping hand when needed.
In a time when public education is constantly under attack at every level, it is so important for supporters of public education and especially the Lima City Schools, to stand up.
To stand up against a flawed state testing system. To stand up against a voucher program that unfairly directs taxpayer money to private schools that are not held to the same accountability as public schools.
And to stand up to our elected officials and even our neighbors who demean public education and who speak ill of the Lima City Schools, our students and our staff without ever opening themselves up to truly experiencing who we are.
Usually we would invite our community to our District-Wide Open House as we celebrate Public Schools this week, but like we have all year, we are adjusting to keep everyone safe. While we can’t have the open house, I hope you will join us for live Facebook events at 5 p.m. each night. We will also share videos about our schools throughout the week on social media. And you can always find much about us at www.limacityschools.org. Also, feel free to call us and set up a tour.
To our constant supporters, thank you for being on our side. I encourage you to continue to talk about us with your friends and neighbors. Tell them why you are part of our family. Share your experiences. Share the Spartan Pride!
Alicia Anderson is the president of the Lima school board