JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Some may think rural counties are at a disadvantage when it comes to school performance, but Jackson County Deputy Superintendent of Schools Cheryl McDaniel said she feels like Jackson County is the opposite.
"When there's a community school, when you have the community that is brought into it and the parents are working right alongside with the teachers, to me, we really have an advantage," McDaniel said.
When the 2016-2017 school grades were released, McDaniel said she and Superintendent Larry Moore were very pleased.
"When you know that everyone has worked so hard, the teachers have worked hard and our school leadership, and you see it pay off, it is. It's rewarding. It's exciting," she said.
Cottondale Elementary went from a 'C' to an 'A'... a grade the school hasn't gotten since 2011.
It was great news for first year principal Jessica Craven.
"It's a little overwhelming," Craven said. "It's amazing to come up that far in just one school year, so I'm very very proud of the teachers and the students and everybody at our school who worked so hard to make that happen."
Manon Brooks just finished the fifth grade at Cottondale Elementary... with an 'A' school grade and a level five on his Florida Standards Assessment. A five is the highest level a student can make.
"At first it was like amazing, and then I was like, let's see how good we are next year," Manon said.
49 other students also made a five on the FSA, so Craven said she plans on taking them to meet Governor Rick Scott in Tallahassee.
Graceville Elementary School also made a significant jump. The school's grade went from a 'D' to a 'B.'
Meanwhile, Sneads Elementary is an 'A' school for the 10th year in a row.
Graceville High School, Grand Ridge High School, Marianna High School, and Marianna Middle School all maintained a 'C' grade for the year.
Superintendent Moore said he's happy that no schools in the county performed lower than a 'C.'
McDaniel added that even though some schools didn't move a letter grade, they all made gains.