Jefferson Shines!

One of the schools cited by Gov. Jeb Bush for making a drastic change is Jefferson County Elementary.

Sandra Kay Collins was instrumental in turning a "D" school in Brevard County into an "A" institute.

Collins was hired in Jefferson County at the beginning of the school year with hopes of turning the tides of academic success, and so far it's paid off.

Monday, Gov. Jeb Bush recognized Collins and the Jefferson County school district for their accomplishments on the FCAT. In one year, scores have risen 10 to 14 percent.

Sandra Collins said, “We just had to turn it around and look at the curriculum find out our weakness and go ahead and bill from them we took the strengths and we moved up where we were weak and we continue to motivate one another."

This approach has made a difference in Jefferson County and throughout the state.

Gov. Jeb Bush said this year students in Florida have made outstanding progress.

"Third grade students demonstrated tremendous progress proving high expectations and accountability matters. Seventy five percent of Florida students are reading at or above their grade level, and that's incredible."

It’s an incredible feat that can only come from teachers who are willing to help students reach for the stars.

Collins added, "You have to love what you do and love our kids, and if we continue to love them and that's what makes a difference."

Jefferson school officials say teachers were working late nights, determined to do whatever was necessary to help those students excel.