Ledgemont High School is a Cool School!

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THOMPSON-Ledgemont High in Thompson may be one of the smallest schools in Geauga County. But, the students and staff think “big” when it comes to academics, a sense of family and school spirit.

Those are just some of the reasons Ledgemont High has been voted this week’s Fox 8 “Cool School.”

This year, the seventh and eighth graders joined the high school students at Ledgemont High. With a graduating class around 45 students each year, it's like private education at a public school. Here, being small has its advantages. “We have pretty much all grown up together, so it's like a family here,” 11th Grader Matthew Hawkins said.

Students have made big strides in the classroom, earning an "Excellent" state rating once again. Principal Jennifer Catanese believes looping enhances the learning. “Which means the teacher really gets to know the students because they kind of move with the students.

A student who starts here in seventh grade and then graduates may have the same teacher three times,” she said.

Students can choose to take up to 24-different courses online through the Virtual Learning Academy, ranging from Marine Biology to Spanish. “There's three levels of Spanish courses available. There are also Language Arts, History, and Renaissance Art. Lots of fun stuff, Greek Mythology, even,” 11th Grader Ben Harvey added.

The Ledgemont Local School District is currently in financial emergency. That means, especially here at the high school, they have to find creative ways to fund the educational programs.

AP Environmental Science is one of five advanced placement classes offered at Ledgemont High. "Our AP Environmental Sciences and all of our other programs have been helped substantially by a AP grant. And, I believe we've gotten $10-thousand dollars through that grant over two years,” Teacher Katie Ritts said.

Another grand and donations helped furnish the exercise room, that is for the students and the community to use. "It's really helped with our sports teams -- getting better at sports and getting bigger, working out in here and for our gym classes,” 11th Grader Justin Young added. This year the Girls Volleyball we went 23-0 and won Districts.

Students at Ledgemont High say that they may be small, but they are mighty. And, they are proud to be this week’s Fox 8 Cool School.
Maria Scali

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