An Ogle county school earns some bragging rights in the state of Illinois. Students there did well enough on standardized tests, to snag the school an academic achievement award.
Principal Steve Herkert says the award is a great way for staff and students to be recognized for their hard work. He explains high student achievement is something that takes more than just good study habits.
"One of our biggest things in this building is respect. We are very very big on the importance of making sure that our students are taught the importance of being respectful," says Herkert.
Principal Herkert believes the way students are treated in the hallways, impacts how well they do in the classrooms. "The kids feel like they matter, the kids feel like they're noticed, and like the adults really care for them. And in return they want to do well, they want to impress us. Which is a marvelous thing about middle school students, they still think it's cool to impress us."
Herkert explains, he teachers cannot do their jobs alone. The school's success can also be attributed to students' lives outside of school.
"We're fortunate that we're a very high preformance school, we have very high expectations, we have parents that demand a lot out of us, but yet work really hard with us in making sure the students understand what's expected of them."
There are nearly 4,400 public schools in Illinois, and only 450 received the academic excellence award, putting Byron in the top 10 percent of schools.