Ariton becomes first Wiregrass “Spotlight School”

A small community, building success in the classroom.
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 6:07 PM CDT
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ARITON, Ala. (WTVY) - Ariton Pre-K through 3rd grade teachers are celebrating.

That’s because their school is one of a handful to receive a special title.

“Us being one of the twelve schools in the state that was recognized as a spotlight school is just a tremendous accomplishment for our teachers,” says Josh Herring, Principal of Ariton School.

A “Science of Reading Spotlight School” to be exact.

Inspired by the Alabama Literacy Act, the title is for schools implementing steps to improve reading proficiency.

A small community, building success in the classroom.

“We wanted to identify the schools in the state that had really, completely bought in to the science of reading, who are following the state’s development plan with letters, and making sure that their kids are progressing and learning to read,” expresses Dr. Eric Mackey, Alabama State Superintendent. “Ariton is one of many schools that are doing great work, but I have to say that Ariton is definitely right at the top.”

It’s a surprise the teachers didn’t expect.

“It was an extreme honor,” expresses Bethany Phillips, Ariton Teacher. “As someone who never played any kind of sports, to get to walk through cheerleaders, that was really exciting, and to see Dr. Mackey that he thought it was so important to come and support our teachers, I thought was an amazing thing.”

“Very exciting, I feel honored,” explains Voncila Floyd, Ariton Teacher. “I just felt that teaching is what I do, and this is just an honor to be recognized for that.”

Several of the teachers are Ariton graduates, something Herring says makes their school so special.

“Not only the love and the teaching of reading, they love kids, and they love to make sure they’re taking care of their needs,” continues Herring. “Without meeting those needs first and make sure they’re taken care of, reading would not come.”

A small community, building success in the classroom.

Mackey finishes, “I hope they see in the eyes of those children, who can read, who came to them years ago not able to read, that is what it’s all about, changing lives one child at a time.”

Copyright 2022 WTVY. All rights reserved.

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