Students, staff show accrediting company what they love about Utica

Elizabeth Cetnar, Editor-In-Chief

Students’ classes may have been disrupted on Feb. 28 and March 1, but it was for a purpose.

Principals from select Michigan high schools visited the building as representatives for the AdvancED program, which accredits schools throughout the United States and the world.

The accreditation process legitimizes a school and enables it to officially receive state and federal funding. Visits occur once every 5 years, and they ensure that the school’s students are learning and that the institution is appropriately using its funding on the students.

Principal Tom Lietz, along with teachers and staff members, spent several months preparing for the visit by creating presentations for the visitors to showcase the best of the best of Utica.

The principals with AdvancED, from schools like Warren Woods Tower, visited every teacher’s classroom throughout the two day event to see how each teacher typically ran their classes.

Lietz enlisted the help of his Student Advisory Board, as well as different representatives of student groups to help the guests navigate the school and get to their desired classrooms to observe. This also allowed students a chance to give their testimonials about their experiences at the school.

“What I liked about [the visit] was I felt like,” junior Amara Booker said, “the evaluation was more focused on the students and what we thought.”

Senior Madalyn Batres, also a Student Advisory Board member, agreed.

“It’s cool,” she said, “to see them take a genuine interest in what we learn as students.”
As school officials wait for the official accreditation notice, Lietz acknowledged the visitor comments in his March newsletter.

“Our guests unanimously agreed,” he said, “that UHS is an incredible place with structures in place to ensure continued growth going forward[.]”