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TO CONGRATULATE RICHLAND NORTHEAST HIGH SCHOOL FOR RECEIVING THE DICK AND TUNKY RILEY SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT AWARD AS THE STATE'S TOP SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT COUNCIL AND COMMEND THE COUNCIL FOR ITS EXEMPLARY EFFORTS, DEDICATION, AND COMMITMENT TO SOUTH CAROLINA'S YOUTH.
Whereas, Columbia's Richland Northeast High School was recognized by the South Carolina School Improvement Council with the Dick and Tunky Riley School Improvement Award, March 22, 2003, during the Council's twenty-fifth Anniversary Celebration and seventeenth Annual Conference; and
Whereas, the Riley Award was created by the South Carolina School Improvement Council Board of Trustees to recognize outstanding achievement and civic engagement by an individual School Improvement Council in the State; and
Whereas, Richland Northeast, a suburban high school in Richland School District Two, is the first ever recipient of the award that is named for former Governor and United States Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley and his wife Ann, affectionately and universally known as "Tunky". In receiving this award, Richland Northeast's School Improvement Council was recognized for its exemplary use of creative solutions to solve basic problems; and
Whereas, while Richland District Two is one of the fastest growing districts in the State, Richland Northeast High School is in an area that has lost residential and commercial growth to other areas in the district, creating a potential loss of business partnerships which ultimately could impact many aspects of the school's population and environment; and
Whereas, to help address this problem the School Improvement Council formed a Public Relations Committee to showcase the school's successes and enhance its visibility, using many creative approaches, among them, distributing school bumper stickers and window signs, creating a "wall of fame", and hosting back-to-school breakfasts for parents; and
Whereas, the School Improvement Council also embarked on new territory by inviting the chairs of the School Improvement Councils from the other District Two high schools to meet and discuss areas of mutual concern. This groundbreaking step, given the historical rivalry among the schools, resulted in an extraordinary and unique opportunity for the schools to collaborate, share feedback, and develop into a community-wide partnership; and
Whereas, this partnership created a forum through which Richland Northeast spearheaded a joint effort with the other School Improvement Councils to address the issue of youth violence. The combined councils enlisted the assistance of Reconnecting Communities and Schools, an organization of broad range community stakeholders, and this collaboration resulted in a series of well attended public forums focused on the roots of youth violence, gangs, law enforcement, and community service. Richland Northeast's School Improvement Council integrally participated in organizing and publicizing these forums and this project continues today under the auspices of Reconnecting Communities and Schools; and
Whereas, engaging in a public relations campaign while concurrently addressing the issue of youth violence is a tribute the integrity and high moral principles of not only Richland Northeast's School Improvement Council, but also its courageous and dedicated principal, Mr. Ralph Schmidt, who has been a champion of the School Improvement Council, providing invaluable guidance and support to the council in all its efforts; and
Whereas, it is with great pride that the members of the South Carolina General Assembly recognize the deep commitment, tireless efforts, and true spirit of volunteerism of the dedicated and distinguished members of Richland Northeast's School Improvement Council, Principal Ralph Schmidt and the many faculty and staff contributing to the success of this council. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the members of the House of Representatives;
That the members of the South Carolina House of Representatives, by this resolution, congratulate Richland Northeast High School for receiving the Dick and Tunky Riley School Improvement Award as the state's top School Improvement Council and Commend the council for its exemplary efforts, dedication, and commitment to South Carolina's youth.
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be presented to Richland Northeast School Improvement Council.
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