Mentor Schools met the challenges of the pandemic victoriously and kept students connected


By Mimi Vanderhaven

Mimi recently attended a luncheon (via Zoom, of course, darling) to hear Mentor Schools Superintendent Bill Porter give his annual State of the Schools speech to the Mentor Area Chamber of Commerce. Everything he said was quite impressive.

First, he chronicled a few highlights over the past year, which, obviously due to the pandemic, looked very different than any other school year.

Little did students and staff know when they left for spring break last March, they would not step back in the school buildings for the remainder of that school year.

Having a tech device for every student put Mentor Schools in a favorable position to quickly make the transition to at-home learning.

“I’d like to mention how proud I am of our staff member team and their ability to continually work together, with our parents and guardians, to support our students,” Bill says. “Our administrators, teachers and support staff did a phenomenal job navigating difficulties and even today they are finding creative ways to deliver meaningful lessons and other services to our community’s children, whether they’re learning from our classrooms or from their own homes.”

He explained how much effort was taken in returning students to a place of normalcy throughout the pandemic, finding silver linings in imaginative ways to carry on and celebrate, from car parades to a special safe and socially distanced commencement ceremony for seniors.

“Another great story that came from the pandemic is how our essential workers from the school nutrition services made sure students and families still had access to free breakfast and lunch meals from our kitchen,” he adds.

In these uncertain times, there’s one thing we can all be certain of: Mentor Schools are meeting challenges and rising far above them.

The Mentor School system educates 7,400 students from pre-K to 12th grade in seven elementary schools, three middle schools, one high school and one school for students with autism. You can watch the superintendent’s full speech and find out more at