School bus rides that can last hours, random days missed due to inclement weather and for many, poor or lack of internet connectivity are but a few of the challenges facing students of Ashe County Schools.

So, how do they do so well?

To clarify, by well we mean by a comparison not only with school systems in North Carolina’s northwest region — but with every other school in the state, including those that do not have mountains to climb.

Current results indicate that not only did Ashe County Schools post top scores in End of Course and End of Grade testing, claiming the No. 2 place in the northwest, but earned the seventh place overall statewide. Subjects tested include the core subjects of English, math, reading and science.

And the accolades continue with No. 1 and No. 4 test rankings, region and statewide respectively, for third- through eighth-grade students; and No. 1, region and No. 6, statewide in sixth-grade math, and fifth- and eighth-grade science.

Even more impressive is that such results are not a one-off. Testing results indicate that this is the second consecutive year ACS’ first- and eighth-grade science scores have ranked first overall in the state.

Such performance is not from luck or wishing. It comes from a talented and dedicated educational team that is topped by Superintendent Phyllis Yates in tandem with a central office, educators, staff members and, mostly, parents.

We understand the struggles of educating our children, and to achieve such stellar results means just one thing — we need to continue the trend.

Yates has no doubt that ACS can soon reach No. 1 in the region — and then place an eye on the top spot statewide.

We agree.

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