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Two Kent families gathered at Davey Elementary recently to help celebrate the Kent City Schools' "Excellent with Distinction" rating by the Ohio Department of Education.
Four generations of family members posed with a special banner marking the Kent honor, which was mounted on the school. Similar signs are displayed at all Kent schools. Double-sided pole banners are also mounted at the intersections of West Main and Gougler Streets and West Main Street and Spaulding Drive.
Both the Brown and Dunlap families have long and strong ties to the Kent Schools with younger family members currently attending Davey Elementary.
Henry "Monk" Brown, a 1944 Roosevelt graduate, worked for the Kent Schools for 28 years. He was a bus driver and headed the custodial crew.
"The schools were my second home," Monk Brown said. "I went to school here when this was Roosevelt High School. I graduated from here, and I worked all over the district. The Kent Schools set the standard for what schools should be like."
His daughter, Robin Brown who graduated from Roosevelt in 1976, was a cook at the high school for eight years. Robin's daughter, Kelly Brown, a 2002 RHS grad, has a daughter, Alana Edwards, who attends preschool at Davey.
Robin's son, Keane Crockett, who graduated from Roosevelt in 1995, has three daughters attending the Kent Schools. Alexis is a sophomore at Roosevelt, Adreane is a sixth grader at Stanton and Ariana is in the second grade at Holden.
"We have a lot of pride in the Kent Schools," explains Robin Brown. "It's part of our family legacy."
Becky and Jim Dunlap are also proud of their three-generation ties to the Kent Schools. Now in her 24th year, Becky teaches third grade at Longcoy Elementary.
Son Ben, a 1994 RHS grad, teaches at Roosevelt and is the head boys' basketball coach. His wife, Carol Lawrence Dunlap, is a preschool aide at Davey and a 1994 graduate of Roosevelt. Their children, kindergartener Noah and second grader Taylor, also are students at Davey. Ben's brother, Nick, a 1997 RHS grad, and his wife Tiffany have a daughter, Addie, who will be attending the Kent Schools.
According to Becky, "When we moved to Kent before we had children, I asked my neighbor about the Kent Schools. She told me that no matter what your child excels in--the Kent Schools has a program for them. That always stayed in my mind, and I've always been proud to teach in a school system like ours."
Kent's "Excellent with Distinction" rating is the highest mark awarded by the Ohio Department of Education. In addition to this honor, every Kent school achieved an "Excellent" rating. This is the first time since the inception of the federal mandate "No Child Left Behind" that all school buildings received the top ranking.
"Our community is investing in excellence," says Superintendent Joe Giancola. "When you see multi-generational families like the Browns and Dunlaps, who have benefitted from the excellent educations provided by the Kent Schools, it's clear that that the investment by our community has really paid off."