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      Award-winning Copper Country schools

      Take a walk down any school hallway and you will likely see trophies and banners for awards in athletics. But at two Copper Country schools, you can also find banners for academic excellence.

      Chassell Township Schools and Calumet Area Schools have both received awards from Bridge Magazine, an online magazine focused on statewide topics such as education.

      Calumet came in sixth place in the state for their high school test scores and placed second among rural schools. Chassell came in fourth among rural schools and third place for their eighth grade test scores.

      Chassell principal and superintendent, George Stockero, said the schools don't necessarily focus on winning awards, but they are a nice bonus.

      "Our staff is very proud of the hard work we do, we're proud of the kids," said Stockero. "Being a small school, we work really hard to make sure no student falls through the cracks, and obviously with these awards two years in a row, we feel we're on the right track of taking care of these things."

      Both Calumet and Chassell have notable awards in athletics, but what they're most proud about is when their students crack open the books.

      "Everybody celebrates sports championships to academics," Stockero said. "Chassell actually has not only been recognized for state championships for two years in a row, but we've also been recognized for five years in a row for having one of America's best high schools by U.S. News and World Report."

      Seven awards and counting. While students are studying and taking exams, behind the scenes at both schools the teachers are working just as hard to help students learn.

      What is their secret to success?

      "You always want to keep it interesting," said Calumet High School science teacher, Joe Heflin. "You want students to enjoy themselves, but at the same time make sure that they're learning the material and engaged and try to do as many labs and hands-on activities as possible."