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PONTOTOC, Miss. (WCBI)- 5th Grader Jeridiane Ray is all smiles.

“I was in 4th grade last year and I made above 180 so I got $100!” said Ray.

Jeridiane Ray, along with several of her D.T. Cox Elementary classmates, filled the Pontotoc Junior High Auditorium as school officials honored their state standardized test scores.

“I was kind of nervous. Looking at all those people in the crowd,” said Ray.

But her father, Jimmy Ray, couldn’t be happier.

“I am so proud of my daughter. We received the call last week so we knew in advance. She likes money! She is a very intelligent girl!” said Jimmy Ray.

School administrators praised the children Wednesday morning for their hard work.

“We give away items for perfect score. They can earn an iPad if they get a perfect score on both. We give away $100 checks for any student that scores 180. We give away movie days for all advanced students, pizza parties for advanced proficient and ice cream parties for anyone that serves proficient proficient,” said D.T. Cox Elementary School principal Phil Webb.

The district received an A in this year’s accountability ratings. D.T. Cox and Pontotoc Junior High also received the same grade. 5th grader Savannah McDonald scored advance proficient on all sections of her exam. Her family is proud of not only her, but also with the district’s performance.

“I’m just happy to be at this school district and they’re happy for me to be at this school district,” said Savannah McDonald.

“I graduated here back in 2001. This district has always been a good district. They do focus hard on education before anything else,” said Savannah’s father, Jeremy McDonald.

By offering the children rewards for their efforts, Principal Webb knows the next set of students will also soar.

“We see our 3rd graders that will start taking that test this year. They’re also seeing these students get these awards today. So it motivates them to do extra hard in the classroom. It’s a double-win for us,” said Webb.

As for what Jeridiane plans to do with her money and future?

“I really haven’t planned it out yet. I mean, as life goes, it will all form together,” said Ray.

This is the 3rd year in a row D. T. Cox received an A in test scores.

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