May 16, 2013 3:12 PM by Rachel Cole - email@example.com
GREGORY-PORTLAND - Five local elementary schools were recognized by the state for academic excellence on Wednesday. On Thursday Austin Elementary in the Gregory Portland District shared their secrets to student success. This is the 4th year in a row they've been honored.
Principal Susie Hartman says the community effort on and off campus has a lot to do with the ultimate goal of achieving success.
"The hard work of the staff, the teachers, the students it's the community altogether," Principal Hartman said.
Classrooms full of students anxious to learn is a big part in the equation for success at Stephen F. Austin Elementary in the Gregory Portland ISD. Principal Hartman says the secret to student success is also in the hands of the teachers. 4th grade teacher Adrianna Lay was awarded teacher of the year, she says her goal inside the classroom is to make learning fun.
"We have to have fun with them and we incorporate singing, we dance a lot of movement, a lot of hands on activities," Ms. Lay said.
The students couldn't agree more.
"I like that the teachers here actually sing and move around because sometimes I get very distracted a lot," a student said.
"They demand the best out of you and they're very enthusiastic and they make learning fun," another student said.
"We do these fun activities and while we're doing those fun activities actually learning more stuff," a 4th grader said.
This is the 4th year in a row that Austin Elementary has been recognized by the Texas Education Agency for demonstrating strong academics.
"It's a wonderful award it honors the schools that have 40 percent or more low economic schools that have made exemplary in the last two years," Principal Hartman said.
Staff says the goal is to ensure that all students reach personal success and the students say that hard work pays off.
"We are going to the pool because we already did our STARS testing, so we are going to celebrate," a 4th grader said.