ABC 24 Cool School: Pleasant Hill Elementary

ABC 24 Cool School: Pleasant Hill Elementary

Administrators at Pleasant Hill Elementary in Olive Branch, Mississippi say they strive to provide experiences that are not only educational, but fun and enjoyable. The school has it all; from the chess club to the student-run garden, Pleasant Hill Elementary is a special place.
OLIVE BRANCH, MS (abc24.com) - Administrators at Pleasant Hill Elementary in Olive Branch, Mississippi say they strive to provide experiences that are not only educational, but fun and enjoyable. The school has it all; from the chess club to the student-run garden, Pleasant Hill Elementary is a special place.

It's evident when you walk through the doors, education and fun are weaved together seamlessly at Pleasant Hill Elementary.

Right now every student is involved in a school wide project. Recycled bottle caps are being used to create a huge map of the United States. Not only does it help to beautify the school, but the kids get a lesson in geography as well.

“They are so excited to learn, and to get to infuse that enthusiasm and love of learning at that age, it should be fun for the kids," said Principal Jamie Loper.

Educators are using creativity to get the best out of their students, and it certainly works.

The day starts out with an early morning newcast. Young anchors give the news of the day, the weather, and of course, details on the lunch menu. After the newscast every class gets to moving with just a bit of exercise to wake everyone up and get pumped up about the day ahead.

Students at the Olive Branch school are top notch. During our visit, a group of students was prepping for a statewide Knowledge Bowl. Just down the hall, another group of students on the chess club were also in full work mode, getting ready for a national competition.

Pleasant Hill serves kids in kindergarten through 5th grade. Over the years they've been acknowledged as one of Mississippi's higher performing schools. Teachers say keeping the kids engaged has been the key to success.

"I think it gives them a much deeper level of knowledge," said teacher Todd Willis. "They’re able to apply what they learn from the book which then allows them to transfer that information to other situations."

There's also a huge emphasis on the arts. Two young students were recently chosen to perform with the state's honor choir.

"I’ve always loved singing, ever since I got here I’ve always admired Miss Anna - that’s our music teacher - and she’s really helped us ever since kindergarten when I first got here and I think she’s what made me want to try out," said Leah Emmich.

McKenzie House added, "It would probably be the teachers and the principals and everything because they’re so fun to have around and they really help us to excel in everything that we do."

Music teacher Anna Montgomery says these two are a small example of the great student body.

"I think the reason our school is so special is because of our students who are so great to work with. They’re always so eager to learn and so excited."

From unique educational programs to clubs and the arts, it's easy to see why Pleasant Hill Elementary is a cool school.

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