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Three schools honored with student achievement awards
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Superintendent Randy Shearouse presents a Governors Office of Student Achievement Gold Award for Highest Performance banner to South Effingham Elementary School principal Susan Hartzog and instructional supervisor Stacey Bolton. - photo by Photo by Paul Floeckher

Three Effingham County schools have been recognized with awards from the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement.

Awards are presented to schools that show excellence and/or progress in student achievement, based on the two most recent years of Criterion Referenced Competency Test (CRCT) data.

Banners commemorating the achievements were presented to the schools’ principals by Superintendent Randy Shearouse at last week’s Effingham County Board of Education meeting.

South Effingham Elementary School was honored with a Gold Award for Highest Performance for Students Meeting and Exceeding Standards.

To receive a Gold Award, a school must make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for two consecutive years while having more than 30 percent of students exceed standards on the CRCT and 97 percent of students meet or exceed the standards.

“If you go to South Elementary, you’ll see many banners hanging,” Shearouse said. “This school has had very high performance for many, many years.”

New principal Susan Hartzog gave the credit to Cheryl Christain, who just retired after more than 30 years in the Effingham County School System, including the past 18 as principal of SEES.

“She has left such a great legacy for her whole school. I want to make her proud. I’m definitely thankful to be here,” said Hartzog, who was assistant principal at South Effingham Elementary for the past 10 years.

Marlow Elementary School received a Bronze Award for Highest Performance for Students Meeting and Exceeding Standards.

A school receives the award if more than 20 percent of students exceed CRCT standards, 95 percent of students meet or exceed, and the school does not have a “needs improvement” AYP status.

“We have an awesome school with great teachers,” said Marlow principal Betty Jean Ferguson. “My students and staff worked really, really hard to attain this and I’m very proud of them.”

Effingham County Middle School was recognized with a Bronze Award for Greatest Gains for Students Meeting and Exceeding Standards.

The award criteria are not having a “needs improvement” AYP status while having more than 20 percent of students exceed CRCT standards along with a meets-plus-exceeds gain that places the school in the 95thpercentile of greatest gains in the state.

“We are very proud of Effingham County Middle School. We know, the last couple years, what great progress they have made at the school,” Shearouse said.

The banners were developed by the Effingham College and Career Academy graphic arts program, under sponsorship by Rep. Ann Purcell, Rep. Jon Burns and Sen. Jack Hill.