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Published: 4/9/2008

Students at Crissey zip and flip to impress

BY CARL RYAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Crissey Elementary School in the Springfield Local district is in the running to be named a Hall of Fame School by the Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators.

Ashley Lawson, a spokesman for the association, said Crissey was one of the two top contenders for the Hall of Fame distinction in a 15-county area of northwest Ohio.

An evaluator from the Columbus-based group had been scheduled to visit the school last week to assess its merits, but canceled because of illness. The half-day visit will be rescheduled.

The results of the visit will be the determining factor in naming the winner.

Ms. Lawson said Crissey would be evaluated in six areas:

•The school's physical facility.

•Its mission statement and philosophy.

•Its instructional goals.

•Its educational strategies.

•Student achievement.

•Its administration.

The winning school will be honored at an Oct. 28 luncheon in Columbus and presented with a plaque. The winner will be selected next month, Ms. Lawson said.

Cheri Copeland-Shull, Crissey's principal, is no stranger to the professional association, which last year named her first runner-up in its statewide survey of distinguished principals.

"We hope they see we are smooth sailing on the SS Crissey this year," she said of the visit.

Mrs. Copeland-Shull was recognized by the association for the four tenets of behavior she drums into Crissey students:

•We will respect ourselves and others.

•We will keep ourselves and others safe.

•We will respect all property.

•We will come to school ready and willing to learn.

The professional group was impressed with the values she instilled in her young charges.

Crissey students are known for "zipping and flipping," in which they zip their lips and fold their arms in front of them when they walk down the hall.

This exercise ensures the youngsters are quiet and keep their hands to themselves.

Crissey's practices are consistent with the emphasis the Springfield district gives to character education, Superintendent Kathryn Hott said.

"Character education plays a prominent role in our continuous improvement plan," she said. "It is imbedded in the children's daily lives at school. It's in class, at recess, and lunch. It just permeates them."

Crissey has been on a roll of late. Its enrollment is at a record 430, up from 330 in 2001. The increase is not solely because of opulation growth, Mrs. Copeland-Shull said.

"We have been getting a lot of children who have been home-schooled and in private schools," the principal said.



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