ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The Monroe High School community gathered at the school Thursday night to celebrate the school's national recognition.
Since Monroe High school was named the best high school in the nation at the Steve Harvey Neighborhood Awards, alumni, students and staff have celebrated non-stop.
On Thursday, the community gathered in the cafeteria for one final hurrah with Monroe Tornadoes of all ages.
Alumni said that they have always known the school would one day be recognized for their success.
Diane Wilson from the class of 1966 said that leadership played a large role in the win.
"We've had great principles throughout, but our principle now, Principle Davis, is one of the best," said Wilson.
Principal Vinson Davis said that they could not have done it without the support from the alumni in Albany and all over the country.
Davis accepted the award in Las Vegas. He joked about how he used the same intelligence that propels the school, in Sin City.
"It is an honor for us to represent this great community in Las Vegas, I only lost $25 dollars," said Davis.
Prior to the celebration, the school showed off finalized plans for Phase Two of a major construction project at Monroe.
"This is the first time we are really presenting the entire finished project to the public, and not only do we have subcontractors here, we have the community here," said DCSS Director of Facility Services Bob Fowler.
Alumni may have outnumbered the current students, but make no mistake, the kids were buzzing as well.
Senior Fred West said the award has amplified the excitement for his graduating class.
"Today is just about having fun," explained West. "Everybody is coming together, it's just like a family reunion. We're the number 1 school in the nation."
Excitement has been at an all-time high, and the alumni, staff and students look to bind together to keep it that way.
"Like they used to say a long time ago it takes a village, it takes this village to keep Monroe going at the rate it's going," said Wilson.
The next phase of construction, will include a new gym, a new cafeteria and renovations to classrooms.