Thirkell Elementary ranked best in Michigan by Mackinac Center - FOX 32 News Chicago

Detroit's Thirkell Elementary ranked best in Michigan by Mackinac Center

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Dan Armstrong from the Mackinac Center Dan Armstrong from the Mackinac Center

The Mackinac Center's Context in Performance Report Card evaluates more than 2,300 elementary and middle schools in Michigan for grades three through eight. This time, a Detroit public school scored highest in the state.

"We factor in the socioeconomic factors, which do impact quite a bit with education, and that's how our apples to apples comparison came," said Dan Armstrong, marketing and communication chair for the Mackinac Center. "Thirkell Elementary won out."

Fourth grade teacher Cynthia Russell attributed Thirkell's success to leadership and the amazing work of Principal Dr. Clara Smith.

"The it factor is the essence of what defines great leadership. In my opinion, you either have it or you don't, and my principal, Dr. Clara Smith, wrote the book on it," Russell said.

Dr. Smith is extremely proud of Thirkell's achievements and praises her community and staff for the honor.

"Our teachers have worked hard for this honor. Our students have worked hard for this honor. This honor is just not for me, but it's for the entire Thirkell community," she said.

The principal added that with this award, big things are ahead for Thirkell.

"I think the main thing that we're going to do with the recognition as being number one is that we're going to stay number one," Smith said.

This award is a huge achievement for Detroit Public Schools and Thirkell Elementary, rivaling various charter schools throughout the state for this title.

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