Sanford Herald, The (NC) – November 14, 2018
Author/Byline: NOAH GRANT, NGRANT@SANFORDHERALD.COM
Although two months overdue because of Hurricane Florence, the Lee County Education Foundation honored Tramway Elementary School on Tuesday with the Head of Class Award.
The foundation awarded the school $50,000 to be divided among the faculty. The award recognizes the Lee County elementary school that showed the most growth in the past year. This year was the first time Tramway came out on top.
Members of the foundation and the Lee County Board of Education congratulated Tramway on Tuesday, but the stars of the show were the school’s faculty and students.
Two fifth-graders spoke at the event and explained how the school’s student body worked to make Tramway Elementary School a better school.
Greyson Matthews, 11, painted a picture of camaraderie.
“At Tramway, we show respect and take responsibility for our school and our success by keeping our school beautiful, welcoming new students to our classes, ushering the younger students, leading the announcements, helping each other to articulate what our needs are and what we all can help each other accomplish,” she said.
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Jose Montanez, 10, expressed gratitude for his teachers and the work they put in to make classes enjoyable.
“Just this year in science class, we did an experiment that made me understand how to determine the amount of salt in the water by examining its density,” he said. “I’m thankful for the teachers at Tramway who work hard each day to make our learning fun.”
Third-year principal Andrea Sloan reflected on where she started and how she and her colleagues got to Tuesday. According to assessments given by the state board of education in 2016-17, the school failed to meet growth and experienced a drop in proficiency on end-of-grade tests.
Sloan said she had a good first year as principal, but seeing those grades hurt.
“But when proficiency and growth numbers came in, we were not satisfied. In fact I would say I was devastated,” she said.
Sloan said the faculty worked together to create a plan for a better future and it appears to have been a success.
“In a nutshell, our teachers showed up every day, they had high expectations for our students and our students put in the work and finally our efforts matched the proficiency and growth numbers in 2017-18 to put us here,” she said. “Head of the class really wasn’t in our sight. We were just competing against ourselves for the sake of our students.”
Reach Staff Writer Noah Grant at 919-718-1229 and on Twitter at @NoahGrantHerald.
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