WARNER ROBINS -- As guests entered Quail Run Elementary School on Thursday, boys, who sported identical ties, smiled and welcomed visitors into their school. Down the hallway, students stood silently in the cafeteria as classical music played.
The students burst into applause as their guest, state school Superintendent John Barge, took the stage. After all, Barge was there to give the school its award for being deemed a Georgia School of Excellence -- a prize that came with a trophy, $1,000 for the school and free massages for faculty and staff.
Quail Run and Centerville elementary schools in Houston County were two of 28 schools across the state to receive the honor. Fourteen schools, including Centerville, were chosen for making the most progress on the College and Career Ready Performance Index. Quail Run and 13 other schools were chosen for making the highest scores on the CCRPI, the states new accountability system for schools and school districts.
Out of 100 points, Quail Run scored a 99.1.
You cant get much better than that, Barge said.
Principal Cheryl Thomas attributes that success to the hard work of Quail Runs staff and students. Teachers often team up and collaborate on lessons, and, in addition to focusing on academic lessons, faculty work to develop relationships with their students. That can make a difference, Thomas said.
Building those relationships means so much to the kids and to the parents, she said.
Barge spoke directly to teachers, assuring them he understands that their job is stressful -- especially in the face of a weak economy and new tests, new standards and a new evaluation system, he said.
I have a child myself, and I was a teacher. I know children have that innate ability to find that very last button that you have, and they know how to push that sometimes, Barge said. But you are impacting and changing the life of that young person and not just the one person, but generations to come.
To contact writer Jenna Mink, call 256-9751.