MILLINGTON, TN (abc24.com) - One Shelby County elementary school is getting national attention. E.E. Jeter Elementary school in Millington is one of only six schools in the state to be nominated for the Blue Ribbon School Award. Despite a student poverty rate of 60 percent, student scores are rising.
"I am proud of my school. I'm proud of my fellow students. I'm proud of my administrators because I know all of us have worked very hard to do our very best,” said 5th grader Karyme Brooks.
The 11-year-old should be proud. Brooks said if it weren't for her teachers she wouldn't be in the gifted program.
"Sometimes it's the different types of worksheets they use, sometimes it's educational songs that involve what you're learning,” Brooks told abc24 news.
E.E. Jeter Elementary is in the top 10 percent of the state and beat more than 14,000 public and private schools in Tennessee in test scores. That's why they were nominated for the national Blue Ribbon School Award.
"I'm real proud of the school. I just think it's awesome. I expect them to win first place,” said a mother, Robbie Wilson.
Jeter is one of the oldest schools in Shelby County, nestled near the banks of the Mississippi River. Administrators are not used to this national attention.
"We didn't even know we were standing out. We just do what we do and then we began receiving all this recognition because of our extremely high test scores,” said Jeter Principal Paulette Bond.
Jeter students have the highest math scores in Shelby County. Nearly all the students are at a proficient or an advanced level when it comes to social studies too.
4th grade teacher, Denise Brandt, shares their secret. "Teachers work together cooperatively. One teacher might have a better idea to teach something and they need to share their ideas.”
"We have high expectations for all. We know that some of the students are going to have more challenges than others but we think all kids can reach their highest potential if they're pushed, if we encourage them, and if motivate them,” said 5th grade teacher Christina Wilkerson.
The Blue Ribbon winner will be announced in the fall but everyone at Jeter says they already feel like winners.