MILLINGTON, TN (abc24.com) - There's excitement in the hallways at E.E. Jeter Elementary now that the school has won the National Blue Ribbon Award.
The award is based on school benchmarks, motivation in classrooms, improving student achievement and providing high quality education.
Only 269 schools in America were awarded National Blue Ribbon status. Of the more than 14,000 schools in Tennessee, E.E. Jeter is one of only six to earn the award this year.
"It's unexplainable but its awesome," said 5th grade student Sky Clark. "It's exciting and I feel great that I achieved something that's important to the whole state."
Not only are these kids at E.E. Jeter Elementary some of the best students in the state, they're some of the best in the country.
Principal Paulette Bond explained, "It is an award that is presented by the Department of Education that recognizes schools for exemplary academic achievement that is generally measured through your achievement test scores."
Paulette and six other testing teachers recently returned from Washington D.C. after receiving the award from the U.S. Department of Education.
One of the main reasons that test scores remain so high at E.E. Jeter Elementary is because the teachers know how to bring the curriculum to life.
"It's just really fun. Learning is amazing. It's like you're playing a game without the game console," said 4th grade student Jerry Daniels.
A representative from Blue Bell Ice Cream stopped by to give students and staff a cold treat for all their hard work. Teachers also wore their National Blue Ribbon shirts.
Teacher Lindsey James said, "I think it's great because our hard work has paid off and we're finally getting recognition for how amazing our kids did."
"Not knowing that there was even an award to win, we worked very hard and encouraged students and stayed on them and that's what we are going to continue to do," added teacher Susan Cockerell.
At E.E. Jeter, teachers also believe in working as a team and to work one common goal, which is student success.
Shelby County Schools Superintendent John Aitken, school board members, and a representative from Mayor Mark Luttrell's office were also there to congratulate the school and staff on this achievement.