Georgia schools Superintendent John Barge flew into Columbia County on Tuesday to recognize Stevens Creek Elementary as a Georgia School of Excellence.
Arriving at the Martinez school by helicopter, Barge presented Principal Michelle Paschal with an award and introduced representatives from United Healthcare and TrueBlue Schools, who respectively promised teachers a day of free massages and a $1,000 donation.
Barge complimented the school’s administration, pupils and, most significantly, its teachers.
“They didn’t just change my life,” Barge said of good teachers. “They changed the life of my spouse, my children and my grandchildren.”
In accepting the award, Paschal also pointed out the hard work of her teachers. However, she placed more emphasis on the accomplishments of her pupils.
“You make me so proud every day,” she said.
Schools of Excellence are chosen based on pupil test scores on assessments in reading and math, such as the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test. A school is chosen in each congressional district in the categories of Top 10 – scoring the highest on assessments – and Greatest Gains – schools showing the most improvement on assessments during a three-year period.
Stevens Creek Ele-mentary was chosen as a Top 10 school in the state.