Lick Creek earns national honor from FBI

Union County school recognized

Lick Creek Elementary School was honored on Monday, Feb. 27, for its first-place ranking in a national cyber-security educational program sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, FBI.

In October 2016, Lick Creek School math and technology teacher Drew Robbins led 3rd through 8th grade students through a free FBI-sponsored program called Safe Online Surfing that taught them how to be careful when using the internet. 

The curriculum includes tropical island-themed quizzes and games that lead to an exam. 

A total of 1,308 schools and 74,834 students throughout the country took the exam that month, which is the highest monthly total in the history of the program. 

The schools are separated into three size categories and then ranked nationally by their collective exam scores.

Lick Creek earned the highest collective scores for the “starfish” category (which is for schools with five to 50 participants), during the month of October. 

Two FBI representatives, Brad Ware from Springfield and Clinton Bigham from Marion, visited Lick Creek School to present the award.

Ware said that he has had seven other Illinois schools win the award in the seven years the program has been running.

“The internet is a wonderful tool,” Ware said during the visit. 

“Unfortunately, there are some bad folks out there who do some bad things. We need to keep up with technology and teach kids safe habits.”

He and Bigham presented the 6th through 8th grade students certificates for completing the program and scoring high enough to contribute to the national top ranking. Ware said that any student can go through the program individually, but schools must be registered as a group to be ranked against other schools. 

Safe Online Surfing is free and available for use at

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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