It was a red letter day for the Windber Area Middle School.
Gov. Tom Corbett was in Windber on Monday to present the middle school with the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Academics.
The school was honored for having some of the top assessment scores in the state.
“You as students need to be recognized,” Corbett said. “To have something that says ‘we’re pretty good. We’re the best one in Somerset County.’ ”
Based on the 2013-14 School Performance Profile, www.pa schoolperformance.org, the school attained 93.3 percent.
It was the only school among the 29 public schools in Somerset County above 90 percent.
“You’re one of the best in the entire state of Pennsylvania,” Corbett said. “That is a tremendous accomplishment.”
Windber Superintendent Rick Huffman said the school is tops among schools in Somerset, Cambria, Blair and Bedford counties.
“It echoes what we already knew,” Huffman said. “We have a super group of students, very supportive teachers. And the parents are interested in the educational process.”
Somerset County Commissioner John Vatavuk added: “It’s a great honor for Windber to have the governor come here and present this award to the deserving kids who have earned it.”
For eighth-grader Rachel Weaver it was a special thrill to see the governor in person.
“It was really cool,” she said. “I’ve been to conventions before because my dad’s a farmer, so I’ve seen state officials speak before. But I've never been that close.”
The governor later said his proposed 2014-15 state education budget represents a $369 million – or 3.8 percent increase – from the current year.
Patrick Buchnowski is a reporter with The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him at twitter.com/Pat BuchnowskiTD.