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An Education Celebration: A+ Success Stories from Across the State

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Hillcrest Elementary Prepares for "A" Great Year

students
Commissioner Horne poses with Hillcrest 5th graders Jennifer and Cameron, both high achievers on FCAT reading and writing.

Last year, Hillcrest Elementary increased its school grade from a D to a B. Principal Beverly Lynne credits this achievement to "increased staff development for teachers, more active participation involving parents, and a school-wide focus making reading the priority."

The school's new reading coach, funded through Just Read, Florida!, was also an integral part of this improvement. Ms. Shawn Albritton created activities that encourage children to see reading as enjoyable rather than a chore, and with the help of outstanding teachers and a dedicated principal she has accomplished this goal. Students and parents come regularly on Tuesday evenings to practice their skills.

students
Hillcrest students, faculty and school mascot look on as Commissioner Horne signs school recognition check for $55,455.

In addition, creative characters like the Reading Professor, Mathematical Mable, and Vocal Vera became a part of the school's daily activities. The Reading Professor often modeled the Fab Five. Mathematical Mable encouraged student involvement with Math Superstars, and Vocal Vera taught Valuable Vocabulary. These characters also visited classrooms and local community events to encourage appropriate reading practices.

Recently, Commissioner Horne had the opportunity to visit Hillcrest Elementary to recognize the students, staff, and principal for their tremendous accomplishments. The majority of students are making learning gains and meeting high standards in reading and math, and nearly 90 percent are meeting high standards in writing.

During his visit, Commissioner Horne wished the Hawks continued success in "Racing Toward 'A' Great Year," their theme for 2003-2004.

For more information on Hillcrest Elementary, visit the following sites: