Two Houston County schools aced the tests that matter to Georgia's Department of Education.

Centerville and Quail Run Elementary ranked among the top 28 schools in the state.

Friday at Quail Run, kindergarten students learned the basics. They practiced their vowel and consonant sounds to music, in Lisa Brewer's classroom.

Those sounds are important, but how they're taught and who's teaching them matters, too, said Principal Cheryl Thomas.

Thomas said, "We have people here that really go above and beyond all the time to meet the needs of everybody."

She credits her staff with helping the school out-perform most others in the state.

Quail Run's standardized testing outpaced all others in the congressional district. There are 14 districts in the state, and the Georgia Department of Education looks for the top performer in each one.

They also measure for the most improved school within each district.

Another Houston School, Centerville Elementary, achieved that distinction.

The work earned a congratulatory visit from State School Superintendent John Barge.

Barge said, "They've got an entire community approach to education, and it's phenomenal. The mayor, business leaders and parents that volunteer here everyday."

Principal at Centerville Elementary, Tonya Maddox, attributes the boost in their achievement to those factors, and the relationships that develop in each classroom.

Maddox said, "Our teachers take the time to get to know their students well in every academic area, as well as personally."

The efforts lead to School of Excellence awards in both schools.

Barge called the recogntion Barge a credit to public education in Houston County. He plans to come back on another date to Quail Run to congratulate their students and staff.

He presented Centerville with a $1,000 check and a trophy.

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