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Eastside named school of excellence
High school honored for greatest gains

COVINGTON - This month, Eastside High School has been getting a lot of attention for its football team making the playoffs, but state officials recognize the school for its academic successes, too.

The Georgia Department of Education has named Eastside High School as a Georgia School of Excellence.

On Thursday, State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox announced the 2008 Georgia Schools of Excellence, which includes EHS in the Greatest Gains category.

Eastside is one of 12 schools named in the category that lists the schools with the greatest improvement. It tied for sixth place with Centerville Elementary School in Houston County and placed below schools like Mamie Lou Gross Elementary in Camden County, Druid Hills High in DeKalb County and Loganville Elementary in Walton County.

"These schools are getting great results from all students in many different areas," Cox said in a press release. "The teachers, students and administrators at these schools truly represent excellence."

Those schools in the Greatest Gains category are ones that have demonstrated greatest continuous gains in student achievement for the past three years, which is measured by assessments in reading and mathematics, according to the press release.

Eastside was the only high school in the Newton County School System to meet Adequate Yearly Progress for the 2007-08 school year; AYP is a state-measured report required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act that evaluates schools based on data like the graduation rate and test participation and scores on the math and language arts section of the Georgia High School Graduation Tests. Also, last school year, Eastside Latin Teacher Eric Adams was selected as the school system's Teacher of the Year.

Eastside principal Robert Daria said he is extremely proud of his school and gives credit to all of the students, teachers and staff for working towards education.

"I base (the award) on the wonderful, collective efforts of people in this school," he said. "They are a distinguished group of people."

The Georgia Schools of Excellence will be honored at a banquet Jan. 23 at the Georgia International Conference Center in College Park.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.

SideBar: At A Glance

2008 Georgia Schools of Excellence - Greatest Gains

1. Mamie Lou Gross Elementary, Camden

2. (tie) Northgate High, Coweta and Double Churches Elementary, Muscogee

3. Druid Hills High, DeKalb

4. Manning Oaks Elementary, Fulton

5. Loganville Elementary, Walton

6. (tie) Eastside High, Newton and Centerville Elementary, Houston

7. Otwell Middle, Forsyth

8. East Jackson Elementary, Jackson

9. (tie) Kemp Elementary, Cobb and Trion High, Trion City