By LOHR McKINSTRY
---- — CROWN POINT — With Crown Point Central School’s 200 students seated in gym bleachers, teacher Crystal Farrell asked how many of them wanted to go to college.
There was an enthusiastic roar from students, and almost every hand went up.
At that recent ceremony, College for Every Student Program Director Tara Lambert presented the school with a School of Distinction banner.
Five North Country schools, out of 200 nationwide in College for Every Student’s program, received the honor this year.
The nonprofit organization, based in Essex, says its mission is to help underserved students prepare for and gain admission to college. It offers a variety of programs that prepare students for college and help them succeed once they’re there.
SYMBOL OF DEDICATION
Lambert said College for Every Student was recognizing Crown Point for its efforts to raise college awareness and aspirations among students.
“This status is testimony that Crown Point Central School not only developed and executed an exemplary plan for its CFES Scholars but also helped the entire school become more college-ready.”
CFES Scholars are targeted students in the group’s three core programs: Leadership through Service, Mentoring, and Pathways to College.
College Leadership Team members Drew Malone, Sam LaPointe, Amanda Wolf, Taylor Booth and Jake Mildon accepted the banner for Crown Point.
“I congratulate you and your school for attaining this honor and for all you do to create opportunities for students,” Lambert said. “This banner is an outward symbol of your dedication and hard work.”
LaPointe, a junior, said after the ceremony that this is his third year on the Leadership Team.
“This is a small-town school, so this is a great honor, a national honor. Not many schools get it.”
Crown Point Guidance Counselor Andrea McDonald said the award was cause for celebration.
“We did this as a team. No single person made this happen.”
Teacher Rachel Leclaire-Charron said students and faculty members all came together to make it happen.
“It’s something we should all be proud of and celebrate.”
The School of Distinction award was started three years ago, teacher Shane Thelen said, and Crown Point Central has won it every time.
“We can go four for four!” he said to cheers. “We have a great school.”
Thelen said Crown Point students have excelled in College for Every Student programs such as mentoring, bullying prevention, leadership and college visits.
“I hope you have an understanding of how special this is,” he told students at the event.
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The College for Every Student group presented School of Distinction awards this year to Crown Point, Peru, Plattsburgh, Ticonderoga and Willsboro schools.
Out of 200 schools in the College for Every Student program nationwide, 20 got the award, five of those in the North Country.
The award goes to schools that CFES says have created a college-going culture that promotes college readiness and success for their entire student body.