The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


January 16, 2014

Well done!

Let’s all take a break from the all the near-apocalyptic events of the past two weeks: The threat posed by the polar vortex; the Charleston chemical spill, the statewide scramble for drinking water and, of course, the Mountaineer men losing 80-69 to Texas. At home.

We’d like to turn the focus to something a little more uplifting. Like the three Raleigh County schools that rank among the top public schools in West Virginia.

Of over 600 state schools, Crescent Elementary School was one of just six which has been recognized as a “high performance” and “high progress” school under the state’s accountability system established under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

“This is the example of going from good to great, and I am extremely proud of these guys,” said Raleigh Schools Superintendent Jim Brown.

In addition to Crescent Elementary, Maxwell Hill Elementary was one of just 28 schools in the state named as a “high performance” school.

Ghent Elementary was one of just 22 schools named a “high growth” school, which means students are achieving higher performance and attendance levels.

In addition, Woodrow Wilson High School teacher Sandy Shaw was named West Virginia Art Education Association Teacher of the Year.

Shaw exemplifies the professional art educator, said Assistant Superintendent Kenneth Moles.

Where to begin with all this good news?

Let’s start with our congratulations to Crescent principal Theresa Lewis, Maxwell Hill principal Amanda Richmond and Ghent principal Becky Smith.

And let’s add a loud round of applause for the teachers at these exceptional public schools, along with the administrators and support staff.

We’re sure the three principals would agree, success like this is most definitely a team effort.

We also want to congratulate the Raleigh County Board of Education for the role board members surely have played in these successes.

The recognition of these three schools should provide a vividly new perspective of what can be accomplished by educators in southern West Virginia. There remain systemic problems with education in the region, granted, but performances like this should provide inspiration for all administrators, principals and teachers in Raleigh County and elsewhere.

Attendance rates are up in the region, which means parents, too, have gotten the message about getting their kids to class.

So we think that Crescent, Maxwell Hill, Ghent and Sandy Shaw have shown us the path to follow in Raleigh County and elsewhere.

That road is to go forth, and learn.

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