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Woodlawn celebrates after placing in top 3 percent statewide

As they filed onto the Boyle County High School football field Thursday afternoon, Woodlawn Elementary School students thought they were participating in a routine fire drill. But this time, the drill was anything but routine.

The drill was “interrupted” when Principal Bernice Bates got a call from someone very important who was coming to the football stadium to deliver some news.

Posing as important government officials, high school teacher Brian Deem and Assistant Superintendent Mark Holderman informed the students gathered around the 50-yard line that Woodlawn Elementary had earned a “distinguished” rating on its state assessment scores for the third year in a row, scored the highest of any elementary school in Boyle County and earned the 24th-highest score in the state at the elementary level.

Students — who had been kept in the dark about the surprise — jumped, danced and screamed in celebration as teachers unfurled three banners to celebrate the high scores.

Ben Kleppinger/ben.kleppinger@amnews.com Woodlawn Elementary School students make their way to the Boyle County High School football field during a fire drill Thursday that turned into a surprise announcement of the school's state assessment score.

Ben Kleppinger/ben.kleppinger@amnews.com
Woodlawn Elementary School students make their way to the Boyle County High School football field during a fire drill Thursday that turned into a surprise announcement of the school’s state assessment score.

Ben Kleppinger/ben.kleppinger@amnews.com From left, Boyle County Assistant Superintendent Chris Holderman, Boyle County Sheriff Derek Robbins, Boyle County teacher Brian Deem and Boyle County Chief Deputy Chris Stratton enter the Boyle County High School football stadium in style. Deem and Holderman were posing as important officials coming to tell Woodlawn Elementary School students how well they had done on the most recent state assessment.

Ben Kleppinger/ben.kleppinger@amnews.com
From left, Boyle County Assistant Superintendent Chris Holderman, Boyle County Sheriff Derek Robbins, Boyle County teacher Brian Deem and Boyle County Chief Deputy Chris Stratton enter the Boyle County High School football stadium in style. Deem and Holderman were posing as important officials coming to tell Woodlawn Elementary School students how well they had done on the most recent state assessment.

Ben Kleppinger/ben.kleppinger@amnews.com Woodlawn Elementary Principal Bernice Bates speaks to students Thursday from above three banners celebrating the school's scores on the last three annual state assessments.

Ben Kleppinger/ben.kleppinger@amnews.com
Woodlawn Elementary Principal Bernice Bates speaks to students Thursday from above three banners celebrating the school’s scores on the last three annual state assessments.