CHS earns national ranking

Several examples of excellence shared with board


Crawfordsville High School is flying a new banner outside of its main entrance.

The school was recently recognized as one of the 2023-24 Best High Schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

This ranking puts CHS in the top 40% from approximately 18,000 public schools across the nation, Superintendent Dr. Rex Ryker told school board members Thursday during their regular monthly meeting.

The rankings are created based on college readiness, breadth of college curriculum, assessment proficiency, assessment performance and graduation rate. CHS provides Advanced Placement opportunities and has a 32% participation rate. Most notably is the amount of AP classes offered to students for the size of the school. CHS offers 14 AP classes.

“The opportunities that we provide in Crawfordsville Community Schools and the students and the talented staff we have has led to this recognition,” Ryker said. “I believe we will continue to climb.”

As part of the board’s spotlight on excellence, 11 students who received national recognition from the College Board for their high grade point average and performance on the PSAT or AP exams were recognized. Students include Lilyann Bridgham, Zari Freeze, Guinevere Schmitzer-Torbert, Patrick Corado, Tyson Fuller, Elizabeth Jeffries, Jaycie Myers, Emily Rivera, Elizabeth Turner, Nivek Witt and Zion Zacarias.

Ryker also announced that the Crawfordsville Adult Resource Academy has earned the Indiana Adult Education Program of Excellence award. The award is given by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and is given to programs that go above and beyond the state goals and expectations. CARA will be recognized Sept. 28 at the Indiana Association of Adult and Continuing Education awards ceremony.

Ryker’s message of excellence continued with the announcement that Hose and Hoover elementaries and Crawfordsville Middle School were named Quality Leaders in the Indiana Aftershool Network. The recognition is for their dedication, leadership and support to students.

Ryker acknowledge the program allows a lot of students to have a place to go before school or after school that offers homework help, a variety of activities and clubs.

Ryker also commended CHS teacher Jenny Veatch for being named an Emerald Educator by the Crawfordsville/Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce.

“Jenny continues to be a highly effective educator and great leader in the CHS building,” he said. “She is a great representative for The Athenian Way.”

In other business, the school board:

• Approved an agreement with West Central Special Services that provides access and services to children with disabilities and details the corporation’s commitment to serving all students.

• Approved an agreement with West Central CTE that provides professional services and staff in 12 courses for students.

• Conducted a public hearing concerning the 2024 budget, the capital projects plan and bus replacement plan. There was no public comment. The notices appeared Aug. 31 in the Journal Review and can be found online at The board will vote to adopt all plans at its October meeting.

• Accepted a $9,000 grant from American Rescue Plan funds to help pay a portion of the salary for a social worker.

• Gave permission to apply for a Montgomery County Community Foundation grant that would assist students with their health and welfare needs. Funds would provide students and families with financial assistance for medical, dental, vision and mental health appointments and more. The funds would also be used to allow the corporation’s school nurses to attend an annual healthcare conference.

• Approved a resolution in support of military families. Ryker said Hoover has had an exceptional approach to honoring veterans through Veterans Day activities and working with the local VFW on activities such as flag education. They are eager to apply for the Purple Star certification.

A board resolution is the last step in that certification process.

Hoover intends to increase their public military display, create a web page detailing their efforts and will provide military support to families across the corporation.

“As a son of a combat veteran, I proudly recommend this,” Ryker said.

Ryker expects the program to grow in the future.

• Accepted a memorandum of understanding with Community Action Program/Head Start which is required as part of the Title I grant and provides the sharing of information for support of preschool and kindergarten students.

• Learned from Assistant Superintendent Dr. Brent Bokhart that a school safety grant was approved. The grant will help fund School Resource Officer salaries; will help pay for security camera upgrades; and offer awareness and deterrents for teen vaping.

In other safety matters, Bokhart reported the corporation’s participation in the Sandy Hook Promise is nearing completion. Student and staff training is the next component before the reporting system is implemented. The Sandy Hook Promise teaches the warning signs of violence so tragedies can be prevented; increases the social and emotional wellness of students; and offers access to anonymous reporting of warning signs to a dedicated crisis center.

• Learned high school students will participate in a reunification drill on Oct. 24. Students will be relocated to the middle school as part of the drill.

• Heard about the new Leaders as Readers program that has been implemented.

• Learned an Elementary PTO is forming. A meeting is slated for Oct. 2.

• Accepted the resignation of Bradyn Barker, a Hose teachers’ aide and the retirement notice from Lisa Lindsey, a Hose Kindergarten teacher. Lindsey has been an educator for 37 years and will retire at the end of the school year.

• Learned the corporation has significantly increased its participation and donation goals to the annual United Way campaign. Numbers rose as a result of participants may wear jeans as part of their business casual attire on any day.