Wall Elementary receives distinguished award

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A local elementary school has received a high honor thanks to exceptional student performance. Black Hills FOX'S Jon Wilson takes you to the classroom and has the details behind this recognition.

Wall School District K-8 Principal Charles Sykora says, "Well the students were really excited because if we win two state championships in football, or in basketball, or in volleyball within eight years, everybody's excited, but we got this award twice in eight years based on academic achievement, so the students were really excited."

Wall Elementary is now a two-time recipient of a distinguished award.
The National Title One Distinguished School Award is selected by each state's education agency. To be eligible, the school must qualify in one of three categories: exceptional student performance for two consecutive years, closing the gap between student groups, or excellence in serving special populations of students. Two schools are awarded each year in South Dakota, and Wall is one of two in the state.

Sykora says, "The Wall School District is real lucky. We have a school board, community, parents, and guardians who support the school. We have custodians, cooks, secretaries, who keep the school running, and you combine that with a counselor, paraprofessionals, and teachers who work real hard to focus on student learning, we're really lucky that we have all those mixtures."

Wall qualified for the award based on its exceptional student performance for two consecutive years.

Principal Charles Sykora says the honor comes as a result of the dedication from many people.

Sykora says, "I appreciate the hard work that the teachers, paraprofessionals, and the counselor put in, focusing on student achievement and student learning, and their instruction, and I'm really proud of the students for working as hard as they do everyday."

The other school awarded was Fred Assam Elementary in the Brandon Valley School District, recognized for their strength in the third category, serving a special population of students, which were English learners.