Eureka makes a big difference

Published 3:48 pm Wednesday, June 12, 2019

I would like to congratulate Eureka Elementary School for its outstanding work that earned it the 2019 Virginia Board of Education Distinguished Achievement Award.

We reported on this last week, and as I read through the press release, I was impressed over and over again as the details came forth.

The release noted that Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and the state Board of Education announced recently that Eureka Elementary was among 270 schools that earned the Distinguished Achievement Award as part of the 2019 Virginia Index of Performance (VIP) awards for advanced student learning and achievement.

Then Northam’s quote helped give context to what all of this meant.

“I am delighted to recognize the Virginia students and faculty at all of these schools for their academic excellence and commitment to innovation and continued improvement,” he said in the release. “The schools and school divisions that have earned these awards are not only the highest-performing schools in our commonwealth but are among the best schools in the nation.”

Then the release got more specific on what the VIP program is about — it recognizes schools and divisions that exceed state and federal accountability standards and achieve excellence goals established by the governor and the board of education.

Officials in the release stated that receiving the Distinguished Achievement Award means that Eureka met all state and federal benchmarks and made progress toward the goals of the governor and the board of education.

Next, it was fascinating to learn from Eureka Principal Brian Hamilton some details regarding the school’s “secrets” to success.

He said in the release that he feels that Eureka was able to make such great progress in meeting Gov. Northam’s goals because the Charlotte County public school system starts by trying to hire the best and most qualified individuals for all positions.

Hamilton added that Eureka also uses instructional data to identify students that need additional support, and the school provides that support during and after school.

“It is important to note that our teachers and support staff are essential in providing these supports to help our students,” Hamilton said in the release. “Our parents support our efforts to support students by allowing them to stay after school and helping them at home.”

The attention to detail by Eureka Elementary teachers and support staff is highly commendable and is likely making a significant difference in the lives of those students requiring the additional support.

Hamilton was also wise to give a shout-out to parents, who play the central role in shaping these students into who they are going to be. A teacher’s job is made exponentially more difficult — if not impossible — when there is an absence of good parents who support the student’s learning process at home while leading the process of personal development at home as well.

I again congratulate Eureka Elementary, its teachers, staff and students, echoing sentiments expressed in the release by Charlotte County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Nancy Leonard, who also deserves credit for setting the school system’s tone and direction.

Titus Mohler is the sports editor for The Charlotte Gazette and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. His email address is Titus.Mohler@ TheCharlotteGazette. com.