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Region 9 Schools Recognized for "Distinguished Performance"

Six local schools are getting some big recognition.  Representatives of those schools enjoyed a "Celebration of Success" at the Region 9 Education Service Center today.
    Several Region 9 schools are recognized as the cream of the crop.
    Six schools are now considered Title I Distinguished Performance Schools.
    Those schools are John G. Tower Elementary, which is part of Burkburnett ISD, Newcastle School, and City View, Prairie Valley, Cunningham, and Seymour Elementary schools.
    Kristi Exum, principal of Seymour Elementary, says, "It's a great honor. I have wonderful staff members, wonderful custodians, wonderful cafeteria workers, and the students are awesome. It's just a huge honor to be named a distinguished school."
    It means they've excelled in academic performance for the past three years and that more than 40 percent of the school population is considered economically disadvantaged.
    Jean Ashton, a Region 9 representative, says, "The criteria is that it's a sustained accomplishment for three years, and that's a difficult thing to do with standards for accountability being raised every year."
    Shari Hilton, teacher at Prairie Valley Elementary, says, "We have to make sure every student gets what they need. We have to make sure that we all put in the extra time and the energy to take the extra step and make sure our energy is focused on the kids."
    Distinguished performance schools are part of the TEA's division of the No Child Left Behind program.
    In all, 501 schools received the award for the 2011-2012 school year.
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