Hudson -- As 2012 wound to a close, Superintendent Steve Farnsworth called it a year filled with academic accolades, project completion and a positive community relationship.
"This year has been one filled with tremendous forward momentum and great pride," Farnsworth said Dec. 22. "The relationship between the Hudson Schools and community is positive and strong."
District students, teachers and staff have done "an outstanding job," Farnsworth said, earning accolades and accomplishing a variety of goals.
The accomplishments include completing the construction of the Hudson Memorial Stadium and getting it ready in time for the August kickoff of the Explorers' football season.
The district also implemented additional safety procedures while emphasizing anti-bullying programs and the "see something, say something" protocol, Farnsworth said.
Accomplishments also included:
• Dedication of the stream restoration project at Hudson High School;
• Completion of a wireless campus where, starting in January, students will be able to bring their own devices to school; and
• Receiving national recognition and placement on the AP Honor Roll for increasing the number of students who take the AP tests and for increasing the percentage of students who achieve top scores.
The district also received state recognition for the high school and four science teachers for creating a model STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program, Farnsworth said. Two Hudson High School students scored a perfect 36 on the ACT, he added.
Voters also renewed the 1.5-mill Permanent Improvement Fund levy, which includes funds for district buildings and technology.
The district was also recognized for energy conservation and established an athletic hall of fame, inducting the first class earlier this year.
Farnsworth also touted administrators and teachers for "expanding their communications outreach through Twitter."
The superintendent did not leave out the parents and community members when talking about district success during the 2012-13 school year.
"We are so grateful to our parents for their volunteer time and for sending their children to us ready to learn," Farnsworth said. "And we are also thankful for our school community members who support us every day in the education of children.
"This is truly one of the best communities in the nation for children," Farnsworth said, referring to America's Promise Alliance's selection of Hudson as one of the 100 Best Community for Young People in 2012.
"We all share in the success of our schools," he added.
The next year will be one of change in education, Farnsworth said.
"As I look to the future, the changes in education are happening at lightning speed," he said. "I have every confidence that our administrators, principals and teachers are among the best in education to design and implement these changes."
There will be changes in teacher and principal evaluations; the third grade-guarantee, which means students cannot be promoted to fourth grade unless they have demonstrated set standards in reading; and in local report cards for school districts, he said.
"Hudson Schools are preparing and will continue to prepare for our next generation of learners," Farnsworth said. "In addition, with safety being the No. 1 priority for our students, the future must and will bring a new and greater level of safety and security programs to our district."