Governor Brian Kemp, along with the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA), has named Thomas County’s Cross Creek Elementary School as a “Gold Award School” for being a highest performing elementary school for the 2018-2019 school year with a student academic growth rate as measured by standardized tests in the top 97th percentile statewide.
The school awards, developed by GOSA and approved by the State Board of Education, are part of Georgia’s Single Statewide Accountability System.
The “Gold Award” designation indicates that Cross Creek students exhibited high growth in student achievement by earning a three-year average growth score in the 97th percentile in the state, meaning that Cross Creek scored better than 97% of the other elementary schools in the state.
The Governor’s awards help parents, students, educators and communities have clear and concise information about school performance to better understand the strengths and challenges of their local schools.
Thomas County School Superintendent Dr. Lisa Williams recently surprised Cross Creek’s faculty with the announcement, and she along with school board member Charles Evans helped to distribute golden covered chocolate coins for the teachers in recognition of the “gold” award. The teachers were also treated to cake and punch. Dr. Williams expressed great pride in the accomplishments of the students, teachers, administrators, and staff.
“It is a great honor for Cross Creek to be designated as a Gold Award School,” stated Dr. Williams. “This distinction validates the quality of our instructional program and the dedication and hard work of our students, teachers, administrators, and staff along with the continued support of our parents and community stakeholders. Because Hand-In-Hand Primary and Garrison-Pilcher Elementary schools are feeder schools for Cross Creek, their teachers and administrators also share in this recognition. They help to lay the foundation for our students for which the Cross Creek teachers are able to build upon.”
Cross Creek Elementary School Principal Jamie Thompson said, “It is an honor to work with the talented and dedicated staff at Cross Creek. Our teachers take every step possible to ensure that our students are able to pursue their educational dreams.”
Thomas County Middle Schools Principal Clay Stanaland was serving at Cross Creek last year. Stanaland commented on the award, “This award confirms that our system and school offer a quality educational program that promotes the academic achievement of all students. The efforts of our staff and the implementation of research-based intervention strategies that help close learning gaps as well as the acceleration of those ready to move on are key factors to our success.”
Curriculum Director Robin Cartright said, "When the three-year average of students making typical or high growth places a school in the 97% of elementary schools in the state, it ensures that the students at Cross Creek Elementary School are receiving sound instructional practices on a daily basis that builds the foundational skills needed for the middle and high school years.”
“Congratulations to the teachers and administrators at Cross Creek for having consistent and high expectations for all students and spending countless hours learning about how to improve instruction,” added Cartright. “We are very proud of all the students at Cross Creek Elementary School and appreciate the support we receive from parents and the community."
Following the announcement, Daphne King, who teaches fourth grade at Cross Creek, got emotional. “The entire staff at Cross Creek Elementary School, including custodial and lunchroom staff, have played a pivotal role in affecting the positive climate, attitude, and reputation of Cross Creek,” King said. “These factors are the cornerstone on which learning communities function and grow. Because of everyone's commitment here to maintain such a positive learning environment, Cross Creek continues to be an effective incubator of learning. Students are not only educated, but challenged, nurtured, and encouraged on a daily basis.”
Third grade teacher Jen Mobley said, “I'm so excited about our Gold Award! We deserve it. All of our teachers and students work so hard to excel, and our hard work is paying off. Sometimes my students will moan and groan because it is hard, but now they know that always trying their best is worth it. It makes me so proud to be a part of a school family that scored higher than 97% of the elementary schools in Georgia!”