By Mark Gasper
Beech Grove City Schools Superintendent Dr. Laura Hammack delivered her “State of the Schools” address on Thursday, May 11 at a lunch meeting of the Beech Grove Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Hammack spoke with enthusiasm and passion regarding what is happening in each of the Beech Grove City Schools, from elementary through high school.
“Beech Grove City Schools is a district unlike any other in Marion County,” Hammack said. “We believe there are 10 powerful reasons why our students love where they learn.”
10. Diversity – “We champion multi-lingual, special needs and high achieving learners, employ engaged and specialized staff and create exceptional learning programs for all.”
9. Devoted Educators – “We believe in continual development and equitable opportunity for our students as well as our educators, with weekly embedded professional development made possible by our $5.5 million Teacher and School Leader Access to Better Learning and Education (ABLE) grant program.”
8. Academic Excellence – “From our new state-of-the-art Early Childhood Center at Hornet Park Elementary School, with premier early learning programming, to our world class FFA program, the flagship of a comprehensive agricultural science pathway, we have created a culture of opportunity for all.”
7. Arts – “We believe in our STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) programming in our schools, and we offer courses and extracurricular activities in fashion design, graphic design, visual arts, performing arts and so much more.”
6. Athletics – “Our community comes out for our hard-working athletes and supports our boys and girls on the court, field and track, in the pool and this year we welcomed two inaugural sports for Beech Grove High School – girls’ wrestling and boys volleyball.”
5. We Build Leaders: Extracurricular Clubs and Activities: Academic Teams, National Honor Society/National DECA, Junior Honor Society, Future Farmers of America (FFA), Student Council Leaders of America (FCCLA), Junior ROTC.
4. Community – “I will never forget being at Gainbridge (Fieldhouse) and having the honor of sitting on that court during the state finals in 2022. To look up and witness a sea of orange and black across the stands still gives me goosebumps.”
3. Facilities – “In recent years, BGCS has made significant investments in our infrastructure and facilities.” Some of these include, at BGHS: Construction of the Science Academy, the Performing Arts building, and the state-of-the-art Greenhouse; renovation of the Mike McMorrow Auditorium; and improvements to the band practice, turf baseball, softball and football facilities, as well as two concession stands and restroom facilities; four state-of-the-art, early-childhood pre-K rooms at Hornet Park Elementary; classroom HVAC upgrades and energy efficient lighting in all buildings; and renovations and additions to Central Elementary, Hornet Park Elementary, BGMS and BGHS.
2. Safety – “With our great partners at Beech Grove Police Department, our extraordinary SROs, our protection from the Indianapolis Fire Department, and support services from EMS – we work together to plan, practice, reset, to make sure that should our very worst day ever happen, we are ready.”
1.We Have Fun – “Fun is abounding at this time of year – field trips, field days, special activities, special lunches – ice cream, our schools work to ensure that the magic of the end of the school year is celebrated and those forever memories are captured and made.”
Among those in attendance at the luncheon were City officials including Mayor Dennis Buckley, Clerk Treasurer Jim Coffman, members of the school board and school administration, members of the Beech Grove Chamber plus other guests.