CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Two schools in the state exceeded expectations and beyond when it came to results in the state Department of Education’s Balanced Scorecard Accountability System.

Gov. Jim Justice and education officials gathered at those two schools, Kenna Elementary in Charleston and Evans Elementary in Evans, Jackson County, on Monday to recognize students and staff on accomplishments.

In the morning, Justice spoke at Kenna, which houses 165 students in pre-kindergarten through the fifth grade. Kenna was the only school in the state to exceed standards in all five areas of the Balanced Scorecard including English Language Arts Performance, Mathematics Performance, English Language Arts Progress, Mathematics Progress, and Attendance.

“I am very proud. So proud of our students and staff,” Principal of Kenna, Leah Earnest told MetroNews.

Kenna, which has been under the direction of Earnest for four years, has been recognized in the past as a West Virginia Exemplary School, West Virginia School of Excellence and National Blue Ribbon School.

Justice told the students on Monday to thank those teachers and staff that push them so hard each day. He also told the students that they can be whoever they want to be when they grow up and don’t give up on dreams.

Earnest said the school’s goal is to put the children in the best place to succeed.

“You have to have students who are willing to work hard, a staff who their main priority is educating students,” she said of the school’s formula for success. “The test is not our main priority. Our main priority is to educate our students to become well-rounded adults one day.

“We are just lucky that is all comes together here.”

Evans Elementary was the only school in the state to exceed standards in four areas of the Balanced Scorecard including English Language Arts Performance, Mathematics Performance, English Language Arts Progress, and Mathematics Progress.

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