Three years ago, it appeared the Newton County School System had reached rock bottom. Scores were dropping as the system struggled to deal with the effects of rapid growth without the extra resources that had been provided by skyrocketing property tax revenue.
During that time, Superintendent Gary Mathews and his team have slowed the decline and begun reversing the trends.
This week, the Georgia Department of Education named five schools of Newton County as among the most improved in the state.
Oft-maligned Alcovy High School was included along with Newton High School, the Theme School at Fiquett Elementary and Heard-Mixon and Porterdale elementary schools.
We accept the fact that our schools are still not performing at the level we want them to; Newton County didn't have any schools make the state's best performing list.
However, we also accept that progress in education can be slow and has been further hindered by year after year of school budget cuts. We do think that there is some light at the end of the tunnel.
As a supporter of good schools, we choose to highlight these positive achievements and congratulate the administrators, teachers and students who have made them happen, instead of constantly point out well-know failures that we believe are already being addressed.
To each of the five schools mentioned above, we salute your efforts and hope you continue the strong progress you've made during the past few years. With these efforts, this community will continue to be known as a place young couples come to raise their family.