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Good things do come in small packages

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By Jonna Spelbring Priester

They say good things come in small packages.

In case you missed it last week, Eminence High School was named to the U.S. News and World Report's list of Amierca's Best High Schools.

Its great news for such a small school. Small schools, and small school districts are increasingly rare because their funding decreases annually.

In McLean County, several years ago, a small elementary school was facing closure as its student population declined.

But that small school had some similarities to Eminence.

Eminence should indeed be applauded for the award.

The teachers, students and administrators all work extremely hard - as do teachers everywhere - to provide the best education possible for their students.

For a small school, and small district to receive national recognition is outstanding.

In the case of the McLean County school, whose proportion of disadvantaged students was similar to that of Eminence High School's, a personalized approach with students led to increased test scores.

Ultimately, because of those scores, the school was not closed.

I have a certain fondness for smaller schools. Schools where the principals know the names of their students without hesitating.

There are schools like that everywhere. And it's certainly true of Eminence and Henry County as well.

Both districts should be commended for the work they do to educate children, as well as for the work they do to reach disadvantaged children.

It's that focus that was a key element in Eminence earning national recognition.

Education is, for many, the way out of poverty. Eminence Superintendent Donald Aldridge set himself up as an example.

May the Eminence award be the first of many for EHS, and for Henry County.