Diocese wins four state education awards

Dr. Randy Watson talks about the state education awards Thursday, Dec. 5, in the KMC gym. (Advance photo)

The Diocese of Wichita received four awards Thursday, Dec. 5, from the Kansas Department of Education.
The diocese received a silver award for Academically Prepared for Postsecondary Success; and gold awards for Graduation Rate, Postsecondary Effectiveness, and Commissioner’s Award.

The awards were presented by Commissioner of Education Randy Watson to a gym-full of students and Catholic educators at Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School in Wichita.

Watson likened the awards to the commitment made by the United States in the early 1960s to land a man on the moon. “They did it only because of a collective effort to make that happen,” he said.

Kathy Busch, left, chair of the State Board of Education, Dr. Randy Watson, Kansas Commissioner of Education, retired Superintendent Bob Voboril, and current Superintendent Janet Eaton, show the state education award certificates Thursday, Dec. 5, to cameras and the student body of Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School in Wichita. (Advance photos)

Superintendent thrilled

Superintendent of Catholic Schools Janet Eaton said she was thrilled about the awards, which reflected the long-standing tradition of excellence. “Receiving this honor affirms our mission and celebrates the work of the 38 Catholic schools in south central and southeast Kansas.”

She also expressed gratitude for the 765 educators and hundreds of staff members who were a part of the effort. “All are amazing individuals. It is because of their hard work that recognition like this comes our way.”

Eaton also recognized all of the 38 Catholic schools in the diocese.

“Our schools span across a great number of miles here in our state of Kansas – from McPherson to Kingman, down to Arkansas City, and out to Fort Scott. Thank you to our 20 rural schools for their excellence and thank you to the 18 city schools for their excellence too.”

Voboril honored

She also honored Bob Voboril, who was in attendance, and who she succeeded in July of 2018. “By his exemplary leadership he raised the bar in everything so that such a recognition would be possible.”

The mission of the Catholic schools in the Diocese of Wichita is to form disciples of Jesus Christ, she said.

It is our constant determination to celebrate our faith and grow in spiritual, intellectual, social, emotional, and physical ways in every Catholic parish elementary school and in each of our amazing Catholic high schools.”

A Nov. 21 letter to Eaton from Watson and Kathy Busch, chair of the State Board of Education, talked about the history and the purposes of the awards.

“We hope this recognition is celebrated throughout your district and provides valuable information to help guide your strategic focus in the coming year,” the letter said.

About the education awards

The Commissioner’s Award recognizes those districts that outperform their predicted postsecondary effectiveness.
The Postsecondary Effectiveness Award is based on the district’s five-year average postsecondary effective rate. The diocese was at nearly 80 percent.
The Graduation Rate Award is based on the district’s annual high school graduation rate. The diocese was at 99 percent.
The Academically Prepared for Postsecondary Success Award is given for the percent of all students for their scores on Kansas state assessments. The diocese scored between 60 and 74.9 percent.