MOUNT PLEASANT, TX (KLTV) - Mount Pleasant's, Chapel Hill ISD was just awarded the Blue Ribbon, for their elementary campus. The school, is one of 26 Texas public schools that earned the prestigious award, out of about 8,000 schools. The superior school brings a whole new meaning to beating the odds.
Mount Pleasant's Chapel Hill elementary students are wild about learning.
"It's all about those students who walk through that door, and, some of them, they do have a hard time at home and it's our job to help them forget that when they walk through those doors," said Missy Walley, the principal.
More than 40% of the students come from disadvantaged families, but to look at their grades and test scores you wouldn't know it.
"We work hard for the commended levels which I think is one of the biggest accomplishments," said Walley. "Not only is our TAKS level going up, but our commended levels are going up and it improved near as 36%."
The elementary students scored high in math, reading, and English. They are the only school in East Texas to receive the Blue Ribbon, but they don't take it lightly.
"To us, this Blue Ribbon award is exciting but I think it is exciting for East Texas," said Walley. "The colleges here put out the educators that we get and they're prepared."
And, it's those prepared teachers who are also making the difference. To offer the students their best, teachers make home visits.
"If they have needs at home, we're going to make sure those needs are met as much as we can," said Walley. "We know if those needs are met then they're going to succeed in school."
They are succeeding not just to make the grade, but to achieve excellence. Mount Pleasant's Chapel Hill elementary will be among 264 public schools and 50 private school winners from around the country who will be recognized in Washington DC this November.