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      Making the grade

      Straight A's. It's something that every student sets out to achieve, but what happens when you finally make it to the top?

      Excellence in Education is celebrating its 25th year recognizing students for earning straight A's. CLIFFS Natural Resources has been helping reward these students for their good work across four school districts in Marquette County.

      "It's kind of nice to have this day that shows us that getting good grades is important and we've been working really hard to do as much as we can to get those good grades. So it's kind of nice to see that those are valued," said Jeremy Bell, Senior at Negaunee High School and participant in Excellence in Education Day since he was in eighth grade.

      "We're glad to be able to do this. CLIFFS has a long standing tradition of helping support and be a part of our communities and supporting education is a great way for us to do that," said Jennifer Huetter, District Manager for Public Affairs in Michigan at CLIFFS Natural Resources.

      When CLIFFS started the program in 1989, there were around 60 students involved. Today, there were around 220 students from Ishpeming, Negaunee, N.I.C.E., and Republic-Michigamme school districts.

      Students that earned the high grades were able to tour CLIFFS properties such as the Tilden Mine and the LS & I Railroad.

      "We went and toured the train shops and looked at some of the different machinery that they used. It was kind of cool to see some of the things that they used to transport the ore to the ore docks," said Bell.

      After their tours everybody met back together for lunch and it was their time to shine. Every student that attended received a certificate for their efforts in school along with an encouraging message from the featured speaker Don Ryan.

      "You know if you pursue something in life, you do what it takes to achieve that, you can make it happen and in this case, you did," said Ryan.

      In the end, your commitment will reward you.