Valley View is Ranked #1 School District in Arkansas

October 6, 2004--posted at 7:00 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR-- The Valley View school district is now known as the best school district in Arkansas.

The district received the Golden Apple award from the state Department of Education. Students at Valley View have the highest standardized test scores in the state.

The award doesn't come as a surprise to Superintendent Dr. Radius Baker, who's been at Valley View for more than 20 years.

"We've always known that we were one of the best school districts in the state," said Dr. Baker

Valley View students say they know what makes their district stand apart.

"Since our school is not huge everyone is there for each other, and we just kind of form bonds with friends and people bring each other up," said Valley View High School, Student Body President, Lindsey Lee.

Dr. Baker says academic excellence is a team effort and the teachers play a huge role.

"We have a lot of teachers who want to teach at Valley View, so we are able to get the best teachers and that is key."

Even though students and administrators credit the teachers, teachers place the credit eleswhere.

"I have parents contacting me everyday, asking how can I help my student? How can I encourage my child to read and that helps more than anything. The students see the connection that parents and the teachers have and know that the teachers and the parents are on the same side," said fourth grade teacher, Tara Gurley.

Incentives also motivate students to study hard. If they perform well, they get awards like, go to lunch early passes, free tickets to sporting events and pizza parties. It's no doubt that the district is planning on doing a lot of partying now that its set the standard for academic excellence in Arkansas.