Avon Grove recognizes the accomplishments of two National Merit Scholarship finalists
● By Steven Hoffman
At the Feb. 26 school board meeting, Avon Grove School District officials recognized the accomplishments of Tyler Mebane and Vikram Sundar, who were recently named as National Merit Scholarship finalists in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program.
Avon Grove High School principal Thomas Alexander introduced the students, and Mebane and Sundar received a standing ovation. To be named finalists, the students not only scored high on the SAT test, they also maintained consistently high grades in their high school coursework and were recommended for the honor by school officials.
Alexander said that Mebane and Sundar are among 15,000 students nationwide who have made it this far in the National Merit Scholarship Program in 2015. Alexander added that it is very rare for Avon Grove High School to have two students as National Merit Scholarship finalists.
They are now eligible to be considered for approximately 7,600 National Merit scholarships that will be awarded between March and June.
In other business at the meeting, school board member Charles Beatty III raised an issue about how the board approves revisions to its policies. He noted that there are currently just two weeks between the first reading and second reading of a policy before it is approved, and sometimes there is a delay in posting the policy online—leaving just a few days for district residents to see it.
“I think we need to give the public more time to review the policies,” Beatty said. “It’s a transparency issue.”
Board member William Sites agreed with Beatty, saying that it was very important to give residents enough time to review the updated policies and offer comments about the proposed changes.
Board president Brian Gaerity said that the district is already working on this issue, and the new policies are being included with the agenda for each meeting when it is posted online.
District officials offered a reminder that when official emergency announcements are made, they will always be communicated via multiple formats, including phone, email, text, website, news outlets, and social media. One day in mid-February, someone sent out a message on Twitter that school had been canceled for the day when, in fact, there was only a two-hour delay.
A Facilities Committee meeting in the Avon Grove Intermediate School audion on Wednesday, March 4 will focus on the results of a recently completed feasibility study. The study looks at each of the district's school buildings and projections about facilities needs in the future. This meeting begins at 6 p.m.
A program conducted by N.O.P.E. (Narcotics Overdose Prevention & Education) for parents will take place at the Avon Grove High School on Wednesday, March 11 at 6:30 p.m. During the program, experts will explain some facts about issues that young people are facing today, including prescription drug abuse, drug interaction, signs of substance abuse and addiction. There will also be daytime presentations to students about the dangers of drug abuse.
Avon Grove High School will also be the host site of the Safe Schools Summit that will take place on March 25.
The school board will meet again on March 12 and March 26, with both meetings taking place at 7:30 p.m. in the Avon Grove Intermediate School Audion.