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School of Excellence: Heard-Mixon
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Heard-Mixon Elementary School has been named a 2011 Georgia School of Excellence in student achievement by the Georgia Department of Education, making it one of the 26 schools in the state that have shown the greatest achievement.

“I am elated to hear that we were awarded a school of excellence for our district,” said Principal Lee Peck. “I am honored to work with a school community that is so dedicated to ensure academic success for all students. I would like to personally thank the county office, administrators, my assistant principal and staff, students and parents for all they do each and every day for the children we serve together.”

Student achievement is measured through state-mandated criterion assessments, according to a press release from the Newton County School System. Each year the GDOE identifies schools from each Congressional District as Georgia Schools of Excellence in Student Achievement. 

Schools are chosen based on one of two categories: Top 10 percent in Georgia or the greatest gains in Congressional District. Schools must all meet AYP for at least three consecutive years, meet or exceed state mean score in science and social studies, not be considered a “persistently dangerous school” under No Child Left Behind, be in existence for five years and not be under any sort of state investigation within the last year. For high schools, they must also offer a minimum of two AP courses. Heard-Mixon earned their status from greatest gains.

"We are extremely proud of Heard-Mixon students, staff and administration," said NCSS Superintendent Gary Mathews. "It is indicative of a long standing commitment to academic excellence."

Ken Procter, Executive Director for Elementary Schools said he was proud of the work being accomplished at Heard-Mixon and praised Peck and the staff. "This honor is well deserved," he said.

School board member Jeff Meadors represents District 1, where Heard-Mixon is located. He also praised the elementary school and the staff there.

"I could not be more proud of the work being done at Heard-Mixon," he said. "...It takes school leadership and teachers committed to a collective mission of increased student achievement to earn a Georgia School of Excellence title. I feel strongly that, while this title is earned over a span of three years of increased achievement, the strong instructional leadership of Dr. Gary Mathews has raised the bar on student achievement."

Heard-Mixon will receive a $1,000 check from Georgia National Gas to be used however they wish.