The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Luther L. Wright School named as one of 'America's Best High Schools in 2013'


IRONWOOD — Luther L. Wright School in Ironwood has been named as one of "America’s Best High Schools in 2013," according to the U.S. News and World Report.

According to middle and high school principal Michelle Kanipes, she found out LLW had received a bronze award in July.

"It was really some wonderful news in light of all the negative information surrounding public education in middle-high schools in Michigan," Kanipes said. "This is especially important (to me) because the award is a reflection of the commitment to student achievement our teaching staff continues to direct toward its efforts.

"They have been tireless in their efforts to improve learning for all students that they teach," she said.

Data was taken from 484 students in middle and high schools at LLW throughout the 2012-’13 school year. A measure of overall student performance was calculated through a state performance index and risk-adjusted index.

According to Kanipes, the proficiency measures also reflect the state assessment data gleaned from advantaged and disadvantaged student performances, college-ready student performances and more than 480 students, 56 percent were economically disadvantaged, with a 1 percent minority influence.

"These students were educated by a staff of less than 29, with a teaching ratio of 17-to-1," Kanipes said. "Our Advanced Placement participation rate was also 16 percent."

According to Kanipes, the award and data "underlines the importance our school board has placed upon student growth and progress, as well as teacher performance." She said the board’s curriculum committee also "deserves applause."

"They’ve made an assertive effort to support administrative decisions to maintain the four AP courses we offer, as well as duel enrollment classes and honors English course for our higher-achieving students," Kanipes said. "They have also provided us the ability to schedule smaller sized classes at both the middle and high school levels. Finally, they have given us the opportunity to maintain a rigorous and diverse academic curriculum endeavoring to guarantee college-ready high school graduates."

"Being recognized as a member of ‘the best’ middle-high schools in American for 2013 represents how competitive our district really is, given all of the educational mandates and funding cuts placed upon us, as well as all of the daunting curriculum standards set by the Michigan Department of Education," Kanipes said. "I am grateful for this recognition. It supports the notion that we provide outstanding educational opportunities for all students, regardless of ability levels.

"We are pleased to share this award. It speaks volumes about our school district and our community."

For more information, call the Ironwood Area School District at 906-932-0932. To see the complete list, visit


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