By Bob Weaver

One of West Virginia's frequently targeted schools for closure and consolidation has made the Exemplary Schools list for the second year in a row. Pickens High School, thirty-eight students strong, rose to the top again. It is among many state schools targeted for closure, including Gilmer's Troy Elementary, also named this year.

At Picken's last graduation, Sen. Robert Byrd was the commencement, citing national studies which show performance excels in small schools.

West Virginia is among few states who continue to insist on building multi-million dollar consolidated schools, like the proposed $30 million Lincoln County school.

Seventy-seven of the states 800 schools made the exemplary list, with few high schools making the grade because they cannot maintain the 94% attendance rate.

Other regional schools making the exemplary schools list, Valley Fork and H. E. White Elementary in Clay, Troy and Glenville Elementary in Gilmer and Ellenboro Elementary in Ritchie.

The schools are selected based on Stanford Achievement test scores, attendance, drop-out rates and writing exam scores.

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