PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It certainly is a bright, sunny day at Sunnyside Pre-K to 8 in Stanton Heights.

It feels like a party as the kids and the staff celebrate with Pittsburgh Public Schools as being named a STAR School.

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“This is really, though, about growth,” said Laura Dadey, the principal. “It’s taking students from when they come in from one spot to another. It’s really about growing the students. It’s not about getting them to a top notch on the test score. It’s about showing growth – take them here and end them here at the end of the year.”

Sunnyside, Whittier K-5 and Pittsburgh Conroy all earned the designation as STAR Schools.

“This is a special award for growth,” Superintendent Dr. Linda Lane said. “This is a school where teacher and students, the principals and the parents are all working together on behalf of the kids, and I think that’s to what we have to attribute some really gratifying and wonderful results.”

Making good choices, being trustworthy and hard working, those are some of the characteristics that kids concentrate on at Sunnyside.

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They realize that that has translated to a different kind of success, and soon it will be shown in the school’s trophy case.

“You study your bright spots to see; okay, what is going on there the rest of us can learn from?” said Dr. Lane. “How can we help our other schools to maybe transfer some of the things that are going on here at Sunnyside so that they can see similar results because they are perfectly capable of doing it.”

Dadey says that leadership comes from the 60 teachers and staff members who work with the students every day.

“They know them,” she says. “They really get the time to know where they are coming from, and then work. That is one of the beauties of a Pre-K to 8 is you get them when they are young and you have them all the way through.”

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