Monday, December 22, 2014


Teaching assistant Marcia Schlechty mentors with Pablo,
an ACES student, on his assignment.
GREENVILLE – The Achievement Center for Educational Success (ACES) has a special focus – to help at-risk students that are credit deficient. So what is at-risk? There is no simple definition, but ACES finds each of the students in their program is unique and has his/her own set of strengths and problems.

At ACES, an alternative education program, students are given a different option of learning at an off-site learning setting from their home school district. Jeff Vaughn, program coordinator said, “ACES works to help students to get caught up on their credits through self-directed courses, regular classroom instruction and additional online courses. The overall goal is to assist students to thrive and succeed in achieving their high school diploma and move forward to a positive future. If the students are willing to put the effort forth and work hard, we’ll get them to their goal. It’s up to them!”

This school year, ACES has worked with 51 students in 9th through 12th grade from six schools in Darke County, one Miami County School and one Mercer County School. At the end of the 1st nine weeks, we are excited to report that students earned a total of 63.5 credits and two students completed all their requirements to obtain their diplomas from their home schools in May, 2015.

Jeff went on to say, “We are seeing several different trends over the last few years; first there are more mental health issues that keep students from functioning well in a regular school setting and this year we are seeing more female students in our ACES classrooms.” To help with these and other trends, ACES along with Gateway Youth Programs provides support services, which include providing mentors to the students and referrals to other service providers to ensure the students’ needs are being met throughout the school year. In addition, Kelly Harrison from Darke County Wellness and Recovery facilitates Life Skills courses that provide education in health and personal development, along with how to handle independence and the responsibilities they encounter as young adults. Also starting in January, Jamy Hanes from the OSU Extension Office will be teaching food and nutrition courses.

ACES also encourage and assist students to develop employment skills and obtain employment through a number of resources. This semester there have been 9 students gain employment at various employers (Whirlpool, Staff Mark, McDonalds and local dairy farms).

Congratulations go to our “Honor Roll” students during the first grading period. “A Honor Roll” – Page Waterbury- Arcanum and Courtney Cozart- Mississinawa Valley. Also with “A-B” – Toni Brower, Ashley Banis, Kaitlyn Mogle and Kala Cramer from Tri Village; Dillion Stamper, Dylan Hinch, Isaiah Tedore, and Jared Myers from Arcanum; Jesse Clark, Taylor Yant, and Tiffany Craun from Bradford; Ben Abernathy from Newton; Adrianna Shell from Franklin Monroe and Kathryn Zeller from Mississinawa Valley. We are proud of their achievements.

The program staff includes a certified intervention specialist, a trained teaching assistant, and the program coordinator. The staff does an excellent job motivating the students to be successful because of the relationships they build with the kids. ACES also have a volunteer, Dawn Coy, who assists in the classroom on a weekly basis that has been a big help.

For more information about the ACES program call Jeff Vaughn, program coordinator at 937-548-8002 or check the web site at The Achievement Center for Education Success (ACES) and Gateway Youth are programs of Council on Rural Services … programs for innovative learning.

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