For some students in Columbia, Illinois, going to school feels like coming home.
Every morning, April Becherer meets arriving children and she has them at hello.
"She knows every single kid by name and there's almost 330," said Beth Horner, Columbia's Assistant Superintendent.
Becherer, the assistant Principal of Eagleview Elementary has a simple philosophy.
"You put kids first and whatever is best for kids is what you do," she told us.
Eagleview students are just pre-k through first grade.
"It doesn't even make any sense. It doesn't make any sense," 6-year-old Hubert Weary said with a laugh.
Actually, it was a way to prevent overcrowding in the district. But kids say, that's not the only reason the school is special.
"Our teachers are really nice," said 7-year-old Emaline Hulting.
And for teachers, kids this age are like marble to a sculptor.
"I decided I kind of wanted to work on our character education because at this age that's where it really starts," Ms. Becherer said.
As part of that character education, Ms. Becherer has the students learn a word of the month.
Jack Arnold, 7, tells us the word of the month could be "honesty" or "caring."
And around here one word leads to many special moments.
Every month, teachers nominate students who not only learned the word of the month but lived it too.
And then Ms. Becherer and her staff make house calls.
Instead of a plaque or certificate for a shelf, the character award winners get a big sign in the front yard.
"We put the sign out, we keep it there for a month," explains Becherer. "And we explain to the student that when everyone drives by they know that this is a student that really works hard."
It may just be a small thing but when mom and dad are proud, it can mean everything.
Molly Harres, 7, told us making her dad proud was "cool!"
"These kids will be the ones in college when they're asked to write a paper about someone who influenced you and reasons why, it will be Ms. Becherer for many of them," Horner said.
Other principals at other schools in the district are considering following Ms. Becherer's lead.
"So it's kind of started to become a trend now so I think it's something the kids will look forward to even after they leave our building," she said.
One educator showing that when it comes to learning there are no walls.
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