Valley Forge voted as Best Elementary School
Published 10:52 am Monday, September 28, 2015
Valley Forge Elementary School is the little school with the big heart.
So it is no wonder both the school and its principal have been honored with Elizabethton Star’s 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards.
Valley Forge Elementary was selected as the Best Elementary School, and the driving force behind the school’s heart, Principal LeeAnn Carr, was selected as Best Principal by Star readers.
Despite winning her own accolade, Carr is quick to deflect the attention onto the staff and the support the school receives from the community.
“I’m very pleased that many people have that kind of confidence in us and they view us that way,” she said.
The school’s staff and its size help make the school special, according to Carr.
“We’re a small school with a great bunch of teachers and a great bunch of kids,” she said. “It’s a small school atmosphere. We have the time to stop and talk to the parents in the parking lot.”
“Everybody knows everybody,” she added. “We know who our kids are and who their families are.”
Being a small school also gives the staff time to work one-on-one with the students and give them the attention they need, Carr said.
“I think we have teachers who really care about the students,” she said. “They are concerned with them beyond just what their test scores are.”
“We have teachers that, if they see a child struggling, they don’t wait for the test scores to come in. They get to work right away trying to help the student.”
The support of the parents and the community also help to make Valley Forge Elementary the best, Carr said.
As an example, Carr pointed to the support the school received in helping to keep the school looking its best.
When Carr was named principal three years ago, she said the school was starting to show its age a little bit. She worked with staff, the school system and the help of the community to help the school put on a fresh face.
“When I got here, our first goal was to change the appearance, dress things up a bit, get new furniture and give the kids and teachers something to be proud of,” Carr said, adding improvements to the school are still a work in progres. “We still have a long way to go but we are getting there piece by piece.”
But the focus isn’t just on the classrooms where the students learn, Carr said. The staff wants to help every student do the best they possibly can.
That means setting goals high and helping the kids achieve them, she added.
“I won’t be pleased until every child is in the 90th percentile,” she said. “My goal, our goal, is that these children walk out of this school with the skills they need to succeed when they go on to middle school, then to high school and on to their careers and lives.”
“They can’t do that if we don’t do our best work because we are the foundation stone.”