Courtesy Photo
Hawthorne Elementary School staff celebrates the jump from a 1-star school rating to a 4-star rating in just a year.

Hawthorne Elementary School (HES Principal Stephanie Keuhey had a surprise phone call last week from Governor Steve Sisolak when he congratulated her and her school for “[an] amazing accomplishment”.

HES was just one of three schools which increased by three stars in just one year. Last year, the elementary school was rated as a one star school and Keuhey and her staff began to make changes to reach the four star rating.

In a press release from Nevada School Performance Framework (NSPF) it states that 184 schools in the state have increased their rating by one or more stars since last year’s results.

HES and Hillside Elementary in Storey County both improved from one to four stars. Triggs Elementary School in Clark County went from two stars to five stars.

Keuhey couldn’t hide her excitement for the school she represents. “To say I am proud of the students and staff at Hawthorne Elementary School for being one of only three schools in all of Nevada to increase our Star Ratings by 3 Stars in one year would be a huge understatement. I can barely put in to words the enormous amount of pride and respect I have for Team HES and this tremendous accomplishment!! It was only through hard work, sweat, tears and our commitment to increased grade-level and school-wide collaboration that we were able to make this dream come true!”

“Overall, 433 (60.2 percent) of the 719 rated schools received three stars or more. Star ratings are earned on a scale of one to five stars, with a one-star rating indicating that a school did not meet state performance standards while a five-star school is exceeding all expectations”, the release stated.

The star rating system was shaped by stakeholders from across Nevada and summarizes the performance of a school based on many indicators and measures. This allows parents, students, educators and communities to use the star ratings to understand how their schools are performing. Benefits of the NSPF include: Highlighting successful school so that their proven practices can be scaled and replicated in other schools; empowering stakeholders to become decision makers due to the data available; continuous improvement through alignment to state performance goals and allowing stakeholders to engage conversations around student outcomes and school improvements.

Mineral County High School saw the greatest “graduation rate gain, increasing 4.91 percentage points to 89.29,” as described in the release.

Superintendent Karen Watson stated that she is “very proud of the administration, all staff and students of HES. They are a dedicated group of professionals who stop at nothing to ensure quality instruction is being presented at all times in every classroom. The students are taught in an environment that fosters success and promotes high ideals. I know this is only the beginning of wonderful things for students of Hawthorne Elementary School and Mineral County School District.”

“Rocket Pride is truly School Wide at HES!” Principal Keuhey concluded.

To read more about the schools in Mineral County, you can find the results at