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Rincon Elementary School maintains 'distinguished' status
Distinguished Title I School
Superintendent Dr; Yancy Ford (front row, from left), former Principal Dr. Paige Dickey, Principal Dr. Kirbi Ratner, (back row, from left) Effingham County Board of Education Chairman Lamar Allen and Board Members Ben Johnson (District 4), Troy Alford (District 2) and Vickie Decker (District 5) pose with Rincon Elementary School's 2020 Title I Distinguished School flag during a Sept. 2 board meeting. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

 SPRINGFIELD — Rincon Elementary School (RES) has been recognized again for setting the bar high for its students. 

It was recently named a Title I Distinguished School for the 17th straight year. 

“Congratulations. You guys have another flag,” Superintendent Dr. Yancy Ford said before presenting RES Principal Dr. Kirbi Ratner and former RES Principal Dr. Paige Dickey a large banner listing the achievement during the Sept. 2 Effingham County Board of Education meeting.

  Ford credited Ratner, Dickey and RES teachers with a “remarkable job.” The Distinguished Schools designation recognizes the highest-performing Title I schools in Georgia.

“I think the key is to have the same expectations for all the students,” said Dickey, who retired last year. The lengthy string of “Distinguished Schools” designations started shortly before she was named RES principal.

“They can all learn,” she continued. “Everybody can learn. It doesn’t matter if they are economically disadvantaged or from a single-parent home or multiple home. They can all do it.”

The Distinguished Schools designation recognizes the highest-performing Title I schools in Georgia.

“Title I means that you have a signifcant percentage of your children that are on free or reduced lunch,” Dickey said. “Right now, Rincon Elementary has 52 percent that are on free or reduced lunch.”

Dickey deflected the credit for her former school’s success.

“Rincon has fantastic teachers,” Dickey said. “You have to have teachers that believe the same things.”

Dickey is currently working with other schools in the Effingham County School District to help them raise the Title I bar.

RES, meanwhile, will look to keep its streak going.

“Of course,” Dickey said. “They need to hit twenty in a row. I would have liked to have stayed for twenty but sometimes it’s just time for somebody new and Dr. Ratner is just fabulous.

“She was our instructional supervisor for the last couple of years and she is ready (to be principal). She’s great and she’s young.”