By Mannix Porterfield
Raleigh County’s Crescent Elementary has been selected as one of only 66 2013 National Title 1 Distinguished Schools across the nation for its exceptional student performance for two or more consecutive years.
This award is based both on the academic achievement of its students and the creative and innovative programs that contribute to their success.
According to the national Title 1 website, National Title 1 Distinguished Schools have a team approach to learning, heightened professional development for teachers, individualized programs and strong partnerships with parents and the community.
Crescent Elementary Principal Theresa Lewis credits the school’s positive and family atmosphere for their success.
“We are a school family. We function well because everyone works together as a team, including our community and parents,” she said.
Lewis explained that the school has fostered the philosophy of “Bucket Filling” from Carol McCloud’s books. This philosophy reminds students to use kind words and actions to create a positive environment.
She said Crescent has been named a National Blue Ribbon School and a West Virginia Title 1 Distinguished School, but this national honor makes the school feel “extremely special.”
“We feel like our hard work has paid off through our excellence in student testing. We are proud of the recognition and are glad to represent the state of West Virginia at the National Title 1 Conference,” she added.
Each nationally distinguished school will be recognized at the upcoming national conference in January.
Raleigh County Superintendent Jim Brown stated, “We are very proud of the school for its work, but recognition like this gives us reason to push that much harder. We have 19 other elementary schools we would like to see experience the same level of recognition and accomplishment.”
Both Crescent and Bradley Elementary were chosen as two of 12 West Virginia Title 1 Distinguished schools.
Raleigh County Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Kenny Moles explained that state standards have changed drastically and fewer schools than ever across the state received this recognition.
Only 12 were recognized on the state level for 2013 but in 2010, for instance, as many as 40 were.
In addition, Raleigh County was the only county in the state this year to have two schools receive this accolade, he said.
“At the end of the day, we have good leadership with focused teachers and high expectations for students,” added Brown.
Other schools chosen as West Virginia 2012-2013 Title 1 Distinguished schools include White Sulphur Elementary in Greenbrier County and Mullens Elementary in Wyoming County.
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