Delaware Lt. Gov. Matt Denn visited Sunnyside Elementary in Smyrna Thursday to honor the students and staff with a 2012 Recognition School banner.

Sunnyside has already received a $50,000 grant as one of 13 schools to win the award based on DCAS test scores.

Lt. Gov. Denn presented the banner to the school during an assembly.

Denn said the award is something that's been done for the past three years. A school is named a Recognition School if they hit all three criteria: the whole school does well, students get better over the course of a year, and all the students do better.

"We care about how you do over the course of a year," Denn said. "We want every single kid to work hard and to get better and better."

Denn told students that when this award was first started, Principal Kathy Castro asked Denn at a PTA meeting how the school could get it. Denn explained that the schools are recognized for maintaining testing scores and if they meet all the criteria; the schools are chosen blindly as the name of the school is covered while the data is analyzed.

"She said, 'we're going to get it' and two years later, sure enough there was Sunnyside Elementary," Denn said.

Denn gave plenty of thanks for the school's efforts including parents for being so involved, the teachers for their hard work, and the students for their efforts.

"There's no rule that says you can't win again so keep at it," Denn said. "I would love to come back next year."

With the award, the school was given $50,000. Since the award was initially announced in 2012, Castro announced that the money was used to purchase 60 iPads for the students to share. The money also went towards other enhancements for the school such as camera equipment for security.

Along with the iPad announcement, Castro told students that school paraprofessional Dawn Asbury and her family donated a Kindle for a student; therefore, the Kindle was raffled off and Laila Gilliam was the lucky winner.

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