FRONTENAC — Kansas Commissioner of Education Randy Watson made a local appearance Tuesday, visiting Frontenac for a special assembly to present several awards to the school district.

Frontenac Unified School District 249 was presented with the Commissioner’s Award with Highest Distinction, as well as two Kansas Can Gold Star Awards — one for its graduation rate and one for post-secondary effectiveness — and a Kansas Can Copper Star Award for preparing students for post-secondary success.

“We calculate for every school district public and private in Kansas. The fact is that we know that you have to overcome to do well,” Watson said in presenting the Commissioner’s Award with Highest Distinction.

“Every community has challenges,” he said. “We calculated that, and in this community you’re outperforming those challenges by a factor of two standard deviations, or 25 percent greater than what we would predict, and guess what, nobody’s doing that — except Frontenac.”

Factors known to depress school district effectiveness rates which are taken into account in the calculations for determining whether a school district receives the Commissioner’s Award include poverty, chronic absenteeism and student mobility.

Watson said he wished the best for seniors who will graduate from Frontenac High School in 2020.

“And for the juniors all the way down to pre-K and kindergarteners, we’re just proud of the work that you continue to put in, and to the administrative team and the board, I look forward to coming back next year,” he said. “Congratulations Frontenac, it’s well deserved.”