Three South Dakota schools are being nationally recognized for their excellence with the Blue Ribbon Award. It's an award given to just 342 schools across the nation this year. Officials with Robert Bennis Elementary said their school was chosen because they were in the top 10 percent of the state for academic excellence. Many teachers said their students are what make their jobs and the award all worth it.

“It was just so cool to think that we're a part of a staff and that my kids go to a school that has received this award,” Robert Bennis Elementary 1st grade teacher, Anne Peters said. “So it does, it feels like an honor,”

Robert Bennis Elementary in Brandon, is now a Blue Ribbon School.

“This means they had high levels of achievement in growth and education,” Representative Kristi Noem said. “I think it’s great when we can bring attention and celebrate the hard work of students. It only encourages them to push even harder in the future.”

“I think overall people were impressed by it,” Peters said. “Maybe not super shocked just because the entire Brandon Valley School District is amazing and so for one of our schools to receive this is incredible.”

It’s an award many said happened because of every single person at the school.

“I don't think it starts with me as a teacher,” Robert Bennis Elementary 4th grade teacher, Tim Sylliaasen said. “I think it starts with my administrator being willing to help and get us whatever we need to get to this place where we are right now. I think I try to add a little special humor.”

Many believe making it fun for students, helps them to grow academically.

“They’re just starting on their education path,” Noem said. “So if we can make it fun and enjoyable and recognize their achievement it makes them what to continue to work hard for the rest of their lives. So if we can help it be fun, perhaps they will want to keep pushing a lot in their education.”

“If the kids enjoy coming to school I think they are going to work the hardest for you as a teacher,” Sylliaasen said.

Students agreed, their teachers are what make it fun.

“My teacher is really funny and all teachers that I've had form the past have all helped me learn something new,” 4th grader, Madisen Csordacsics said.

Do you want to sign up for my E-Newsletter?