COLLIERS - Staff, students, parents, state and local officials and many community members gathered at Colliers Primary School Thursday to celebrate the school's recognition as a West Virginia School of Excellence.
Resident Joe Olenick Jr. performed a drum roll and many clapped as faculty members brought in the School of Excellence and hung it on the gymnasium's wall.
The banner was presented to Jo-Ellen Goodall, the school's principal, and her staff by the state Board of Education at a ceremony Wednesday in Charleston.
CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION — Teachers Arah Barker, left, and Dana Stoll hung a banner proclaiming Colliers Primary School a West Virgnia School of Excellence, a move applauded by fellow faculty members from left: Elaine Merriner, Marilou Inman, Holly Yarter, Kim Rager and Penny Foose and many others attending a celebration at the school Thursday. -- Warren Scott
Goodall also read a proclamation from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin recognizing the school for the honor and stating his pride in the school for its accomplishment.
The school was one of 10 in West Virginia to be named a West Virginia School of Excellence by the state Department of Education.
To receive the designation, a school must have had 50 percent of its students ranked as proficient in math and reading through state achievement test stores during a three-year period. It also must have a high level of parent and community involvement and satisfaction among pupils, staff and community members in its efforts to educate.
It also received the honor in 1996.
Goodall said to be considered for the honor, the school completed a 33-page application with questions about aspects including the school's curriculum, continuing education attained by its staff and the role played by parents and business partners.
A group of educators also visited the school on April 22 to interview Goodall, the school's staff, PTA members, business partners and other community members.
She noted members of the school's PTA and other volunteers, led by Tawnya Dennis and Missy Riggs and custodian Norman Kidd, worked to spruce up the school's outside and inside before.
Many worked late into the night to landscape the grounds, sand and repaint signs outside and do other cleanup work to ensure the school looked its best for the visit.
Kidd said the PTA's beautification committee works throughout the year to make the school attractive, planting flowers in spring and decorating the building with lights at Christmas.
On Thursday Goodall recognized all of the school's staff and business partners as well as the PTA for working together for the betterment of the school over the years.
She said the state committee that visited the school specifically cited that cooperation in its evaluation.
Goodall also asked the pupils, whose outstanding test scores helped the school to earn the honor, to stand and be recognized. The pupils, who now are fifth- and sixth-graders at Follansbee Middle School, received invitations for the event, which included cake and punch.
Also on hand to offer praise were Kathy Kidder-Wilkerson, Brooke County superintendent of schools; state Sen. Jack Yost, D-Wellsburg; and state Del. Phil Diserio, D-Brooke.
(Scott can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)