JACKSON TWP. Superintendent Christopher DiLoreto’s excitement over the achievements of the staff and students at Jackson Local Schools is evident when he talks about the hard work that went into the successes of the 2016-17 school year.
If winning back-to-back state title tournaments in basketball and baseball, winning a third title in Speech and Debate and earning the sixth consecutive Federal League All Sports trophy wasn’t enough, the district has a long list of achievements from last year to build momentum for the coming year.
DiLoreto said Jackson Local is only the eighth district in the history of Ohio sports tournaments to win both basketball and baseball titles in the same year. Jackson High School, he added, was ranked 35th out of 860 high schools in Ohio by "U.S. News and World Report."
The district was also ranked 12th of 552 for 2017 Safest School Districts in Ohio, 26th out of 528 for 2017 Best Athletes in Ohio and 30th out of 609 as 2017 Best School Districts in Ohio.
"The staff and students have achieved so much to be proud of over the past school year," DiLoreto said. "The district has seen successes in all areas including sports, academics and the Jackson School for the Arts. It’s been a standout year and we’re excited about the momentum in the district and will continue to build on it in the future."
The long list of achievements over the past year include the following:
- Speech and Debate won its third state championship (2010, 2012, 2017). Plus, 14 students qualified for the National Speech and Debate Tournament.
- Boys basketball won its second Division I state championship (2010, 2017).
- The baseball team won its second Division I state championship (2014, 2017).
- The girls lacrosse team was the Division I state runner up for the second straight year (2016, 2017).
- Jackson won the Federal League All-Sports trophy for the sixth consecutive year and the 17th time overall.
- Three Jackson High School bands advanced to state-level competition. Freshman Band earned a superior rating, Purple Concert Band earned an excellent and the Symphony Band received a superior.
- Four Jackson High School choirs advanced to state-level competition and received 15 superior ratings and one excellent out of 16.
- The Jackson School for the Arts started years ago with 18 students and now 250 are enrolled for the fall.
- The Jackson School for the Arts was one out four districts in Ohio selected by Ohio Citizens for the Arts to travel to Columbus and participate in Arts Day 2017.
- All of the buildings in the district helped raise approximately $125,000 for childhood cancer research through the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
- The Jackson Local Schools Foundation launched its first annual Polar Bear Plunge raising more than $40,000 for its endowment, students and 38 local non-profit groups.
- Students collected 2,823 pounds of food and $599 for the Akron Canton Regional Food Band.
- The "Purple Army" marching band found out it will be performing in Ireland during spring break in 2018 with no cost to the taxpayers.
- The district began implementing its One-to-One Chromebook initiative blending traditional instructional methods with an online component.
- The district is closing in on saving $3 million since implementing an energy conservation program in 2010.
How can the district top last year’s successes? DiLoreto said community support and involvement is key. He said a number of factors account for last year’s success such as having a dedicated staff, students who work hard and continued involved with the community.
"We want to be part of the hub in the community. We’ll continue to partner with elected officials and others in the community, share services when we can and work to capture as much efficiency as possible," DiLoreto said.