The Rykers’ Ridge Elementary School Spell Bowl Team is preparing for the upcoming regional Spell Bowl at Sand Creek Elementary in North Vernon on Thursday. Team members are (front row, from left) Constance Houston, Madison Ginn, Grace Pittman and Lindsay Shepherd; (middle row, from left) Annie Mahoney, Taylor Harsin, Parker Wilson, and Sebastian Biallas; (back row, from left) Kyli Bell, Spell Bowl coach Christi Burnett, Jake Cooper and Chloe Barron. Co-coach Ann Motenko was unavailable for the photograph. (Courier file photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
The Rykers’ Ridge Elementary School Spell Bowl Team is preparing for the upcoming regional Spell Bowl at Sand Creek Elementary in North Vernon on Thursday. Team members are (front row, from left) Constance Houston, Madison Ginn, Grace Pittman and Lindsay Shepherd; (middle row, from left) Annie Mahoney, Taylor Harsin, Parker Wilson, and Sebastian Biallas; (back row, from left) Kyli Bell, Spell Bowl coach Christi Burnett, Jake Cooper and Chloe Barron. Co-coach Ann Motenko was unavailable for the photograph. (Courier file photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Much has been written and discussed this year about the state of public education.

How best to educate our children has turned into a political hot potato that, quite frankly, most of us are tired of dealing with.

Let's take a break for a moment and recognize the good work our kids are doing.

For example: On Thursday, the Rykers' Ridge Elementary School Spell Bowl team will head to regional competition in North Vernon.

The Rykers' Ridge team won the district Spell Bowl in October with a perfect score.

The second place team from the district Spell Bowl, Lydia Middleton Elementary School, will also advance to the regionals.

Students in all of our Courierarea schools have demonstrated excellence in a variety of forms, from theatrical productions to the annual Custer Contest to geography bees.

Let's not lose sight of all those accomplishments as the grown-ups wrestle with school grading, Common Core and brick and mortar issues.

Also deserving recognition are the teachers and sponsors who share a devotion to academic excellence.

There is still more than half of the school year left, but as we head toward Thanksgiving let us be thankful that we've got a group of kids in our area that we think are pretty special.

Their achievements will serve them well as they continue down life's path.