WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – The Ohio Valley has some of the top ranked schools in Northern West Virginia according to Niche’s 2023 Best Schools and Districts rankings.  

One of these schools being Bethlehem Elementary School, which ranked 6th Best Public Elementary School, and 2nd Best Public Elementary School Teachers in all of West Virginia. 

Principal Drew Villani says that he is proud to say that Bethlehem ranks so well among the other 381 elementary schools in the state. 

”Oh I love it,” emphasized Villani. “It’s a great feeling. I know what hard work goes into all of this with our teachers, our staff, our service personnel, and parents and students. So, they’re working really hard and we’re doing what’s best.“

These rankings are determined by standardized data and student and parent-submitted surveys, and Bethlehem Elementary stands beside other top-ranking schools in the area, such as Linsly and Ritchie Elementary. 

To celebrate their hard work, Principal Villani came prepared to stand in the line of water balloon fire by giving the power to the students. 

”Oh, they’re really excited. They’ve already been in the halls and said, ‘I can’t wait to throw water balloons at you! I can’t wait to get you wet!’ So, they’re excited.”

Drew Villani – Bethlehem Elementary School Principal

The students followed through with their promise. 

Principal Villani says that these rankings can be attributed to the forces outside of the classroom, as well, and that their PTO drive is paying off.

 ”Not only are our teachers the best in the state, but our parents and community – they’re very supportive and involved in our school,” said Villani.

“Our first grade, for example, had 100% parent membership, so we’re really excited for their involvement and working together to do what’s best for our students.”

Bethlehem Elementary received an ‘A’ overall grade – their aim included.