Schools were recognized for high progress, growth in math, and graduation rate. Grantham Elementary, Heights Elementary and Clarkston High School are the three award-winning schools. This type of achievement doesn't just show how far the students have come academically, but how they've developed overall, and especially through their communication skills.
Samantha Ogden is the principal at Heights Elementary. She said that the past three years, they've average into the top five-percent of elementary schools in Washington to receive this award.
"Just like all the teachers in the Clarkston School District, we've been getting excellent professional development, in math specifically, we've been learning about learning targets and how to collaborate as a staff and work together," Said Ogden.
"It's really a district wide award," said CHS Principal, Eric Anderson. "I mean, the high school is the end where our students finish in our district and as you look at that, you see the work that our elementary schools have done, the middle school has done, and then when they get to the high school they're prepared to take the exit exams for the state."
"Its kind of scary going from elementary to middle school, but I'm prepared," said sixth grader, Ali Evans.
"It'll be a change, but I guess we're ready," said sixth grader, Gia Gonzales.
The staff have had to learn new strategies for teaching and working with their students, but the students have also put in some long hours and hard work.
"They are the ones that are doing the work," said English Language Arts Teacher, Brendan Johnson. "We are facilitating positive and constructive environments and strategies, but those kids need a good, strong pat on the back because they have put the time and the work in across all disciplines."
"It's just really cool that we're able to get this award, because everyone works really hard for it and you can tell with both the staff and the students," said CHS junior, Lindsey Heflin.
And to celebrate, students at CHS were awarded an hour-long lunch. A special recognition event will take place at Timberline High School on April 24th.