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November 2--  There are 157 schools in Georgia which have made the biggest academic gains in the past three years and Vidalia High School is one of them.

The Georgia Department of Education is designating VHS as a "High Progress School" because its among the ten percent of schools in the state making the most progress in improving the academic performance of all student groups.

"This is one of those lists you really want to be on because it shows a lot of improvement and it shows a lot of progress," says Matt Cardoza, a spokesman for the DOE.

Lucy Claroni, the curriculum director for Vidalia City Schools, believes the designation is due in large part to improved math scores by VHS students.

"I think it's because of our end of course tests, especially in mathematics.  We have provided those extra support classes for our math curriculum and it seems to give the kids an extra dose of math and it seems to be working," she observes.

Claroni thinks VHS math teachers are making a big difference with their students.

"I was doing mock interviews with members of Donna Collins class who were working on skills they need to have in the workplace.  Out of the ten kids whom I asked what is their favorite course, nine out of ten said it was math.  I was shocked.  The fact that nine out of ten students would tell me that math was their favorite course says a lot about math teachers at the high school," she said.

Other schools in our area designated as High Progress Schools are Appling County Elementary, Metter High School and Claxton High School.