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Published: Wednesday, 11/8/2006

Toth school named to Ohio hall of fame


Toth Elementary School in Perrysburg recently was named to the Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators Hall of Fame.

The school is one of four statewide to receive such recognition this year.

According to Executive Director Ron Stebelton, the Columbus-based OAEA includes more than 2,100 members representing elementary and middle schools across the state.

Up to 10 elementary schools and one middle school can be inducted into the hall of fame each year through a lengthy application and review process.

Toth was one of the few schools strong enough to make the cut this time.

"It is a real community school, and I don't mean charter," Mr. Stebelton said. "In terms of a school that is able to put together all the elements necessary for the well being of the students, Toth has got it."

Beth Johnson-Christoff, who has been Toth's principal for nine years and is a past president of the OAEA, said her school received the recognition as a result of its caring staff and bright, well-mannered students.

She said the committee of association members who visited Toth witnessed an environment of learning cultivated by dedicated teachers who have worked to achieve six consecutive Excellent ratings from the state.

"It's their award, not mine," Ms. Johnson-Christoff said. "We have a group of teachers and staff here who make things happen. All of the hard work they do every day with our students makes me proud."

After being nominated by an independent party for the hall of fame, Toth had to submit an application by February of last year detailing the school's mission statement, instruction plan, and student achievement.

Assembled to prepare this 10-page application were Toth teachers who double as "team leaders," or representatives for the grade level they teach.

Once the applications were handed in, OAEA members reviewed them and selected a few schools for a visit and further consideration.

Inductions were decided after the schools were visited.

Sheree Shafer, a third-grade teacher and team leader who has been at Toth since 1995, said she was surprised by what she learned during the application process.

"I can't believe everything we actually have in place here," Ms. Shafer said. "You don't think about these things on a daily basis, but when you actually sit down and study it, the whole picture at Toth is pretty amazing. Everything is in place for the students to be successful."

Elementary schools from Painesville and Garaway and a middle school in Piqua were the other 2006 inductees.

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