LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A Calcasieu school is getting national recognition.
It started far from the top.
"We were at the bottom of all elementary schools, but each year we grew and improved," said Principal Rodney Geyen.
And now, the school is being recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon School.
"Well, it's due to the academic growth we've had the past years and our academic achievement," said Assistant Principal Ezola Freeman.
Test scores at Pearl Watson Elementary increased more than 30 percent since Principal Geyen took over.
"Students bought into what we were offering and teachers bought into what we were offering and we became one giant unit," said Geyen.
Geyen said the key to success was planning strategic and new lesson planes, as well as planning new disciplinary action.
Now students are rewarded when they behave well.
"The number one thing that helped us grow, was that we were able to get the school under control disciplinary wise," said Geyen.
And it's obvious Geyen makes an impact when you see him interact with his kids, but he admits that teachers, parents and students were all a key factor to this success story.
And what's next for Pearl Watson Elementary?
It's going to stay just where it's at.
"Well we plan on continuing what we've been doing because it's working and I think the old saying goes if it's not broke don't try and fix it," said Freeman.