Portage Chamber of Commerce 2012 August Luncheon: High Hopes for the Future

By: Caitlin Vanlaningham Last Updated: August 16, 2012

It was a special meeting for the Greater Portage Chamber of Commerce as Dr. Ric Frataccia, the new Superintendent of Portage Township Schools, was the speaker at the luncheon. This is Frataccia’s first year as the superintendent for Portage. He was previously Portage’s Associate Superintendent.

Terry Hufford, the Executive Director for the Greater Portage Chamber of Commerce, was very pleased to have Frataccia at the meeting.

“This is where the school community meets the business community,” Hufford said. “We are very happy to have Dr. Frataccia here to present the State of the School Address.”

The Luncheon began with a warm welcome from Hufford himself, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, the Invocation and announcements.

Then Dr. Frataccia was called to the podium. He began his presentation by demonstrating a real life example of the Regression Equation (y=mx+b).

“I am not here to sell you Portage Schools,” Frataccia said. “I am here to be myself, and to teach you something.”

Frataccia then had six individuals stand up. Three of them represented runners and the other three represented the coaches to those runners.

“Three people ran a race and finished all at the same time,” Frataccia said gesturing to the runners. “I couldn’t believe it. So I decided to try something.”

Frataccia went on to hand each runner an empty bag, each with a sign that represented a different weight in rocks. One had 17 pounds of rocks, another had 47 pounds of rocks and the third had 53 pounds of rocks.

“This will predict who will run the next race faster or slower. If the person with the 53 pound bag of rocks wins the race, then you’re going to want that coach. Now 53 percent of kids in Portage are on free and reduced lunches, and according to the Regression Equation, that means that 68 percent of them should pass. But we are exceeding expectations because 79.5 percent of our kids are passing.”

How is this possible? Frataccia goes on to explain The Portage Way; a philosophy implemented in the Portage school system. The Portage Way is comprised of three factors that greatly impact student achievement: school effectiveness, teacher effectiveness and student background.

“Our practice is guided by our research,” Frataccia said. “Quality is our mission. We want to do better this year than we did last year.”

This was exciting news for Elliot Miller, the Director of Marketing for Porter-Starke Services.

“We are in the business of collaborating to help our youth reach their fullest potential,” Miller said of Porter-Starke. “[Dr. Frataccia] did a good job of showing the vision that he and his team have. I am definitely optimistic for the future!”

There is certainly reason to be optimistic. Portage Township Schools is growing and moving forward into the future, and Frataccia will be there every step of the way.

“We are vitally important to America’s future,” Frataccia stated. “We capture the American Spirit here in Portage.”

Lunch was provided by Town & Country Markets.

To find out more about the Greater Portage Chamber of Commerce visit their website by clicking here. For more information about Dr. Ric Frataccia and the Portage Township Schools click here.

Be sure to check out the full photo gallery from this event!!!