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DEERING, Ohio — Dawson-Bryant Elementary School has been named one of only two in Ohio to receive a Distinguished Schools award.

The pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade school with 550 students received the national award for exceptional student performance and academic growth for two or more consecutive years, said Dawson-Bryant Superintendent Steve Easterling.

It is the second national education award the school has received since 2004, when it was named a Blue Ribbon School, said Angie LaFon, Dawson-Bryant Elementary principal.

“I am very proud of that,” LaFon said Tuesday. “The staff and the students have worked very hard.”

The Distinguished Schools award was based on state testing and shows students making consistent growth, LaFon said.

The school has brought back retired teachers to work as tutors in a small group setting and work with current teachers on instruction, she said.

“We have a supportive community and staff that buys into what we’re trying to accomplish,” LaFon said.

“I am very pleased with this award,” Easterling said. “It’s a national award that has been in place since 1996. We are very proud of our teachers, staff and students. It took everyone working together to receive this recognition.”

School personnel are working on a recognition day for students prior to the Christmas holiday, LaFon said. “We want to celebrate this.”

School officials also will attend a national conference in February in New Orleans and a state convention in March to receive recognition for the Distinguished Schools presentation, according to LaFon.

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