State Representative Anne Gonzales (R-Westerville) recently presented two commendations to officials from Westerville City Schools for recent building projects that earned Learning by Design’s “2012 Outstanding Project” awards for the district’s new 60,000-square-foot Early Learning Center, as well as its Academic Enrichment Center for at-risk students.

The Early Learning Center incorporates progressive education techniques to engage pre-school children in a fun and interactive environment. Ranging from vibrant colors to small class sizes and a large vegetated outdoor play space, the facility equips special need students with skills that allow them to be integrated with mainstream education as they enter K-12. The representative’s visit included gifts from the craft class and reading an interactive book to students.

The Academic Enrichment Center focuses on students either lacking credits to graduate or needing to regain lost credits. With a modern ambiance and a dedicated teaching staff, the students are given personalized attention alongside advanced tools to succeed.

Regarding Representative Gonzales’ visit, English/Language Arts teacher Amy Anglin said, “In a very small way, the kids saw [the representative] helping, serving, and contributing to the success of District 19. [She has] just taken that abstract idea of government and made it real and tangible. This is exactly what good teachers do--make learning personal and relevant.”

 “The success stories coming out of these two facilities are amazing,” said Representative Gonzales. “Aside from the pure community benefits, there are lives being given a chance at a better future and in no way can we even begin to measure that impact.”

Additionally, Representative Gonzales presented a commendation to Westerville school officials for earning the “Sunny Award” from the Sunshine Review, a national nonprofit group that rates government web sites based on open access to information. The award recognizes Westerville City School District’s web site for being one of the nation’s most transparent for providing public information.

The Westerville schools web site earned top marks for making available information related to taxation, budgets, meetings, employee contracts, audits and the district’s academic performance. The site also makes it easy to contact school board members and administrative officials. It’s one of just 214 web sites across the nation to receive a “Sunny Award.”


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