Considering the playground antics of the Scranton School Board and the teachers’ union and their shared struggles with math, history and basic English, it’s uplifting to read about students outshining the alleged adults in charge.

Today, Education Reporter Sarah Hofius Hall shares the news of West Scranton Intermediate School students once again distinguishing themselves in C-SPAN‘s annual StudentCam competition. Eighth-graders Molly Dougherty, Ava Decker and Camdyn Lewis won first place in the middle school division for their documentary, “U.S. Gun Violence: A Complicated Puzzle.” Last year, a group of West Intermediate students won second place. Three years ago, another group won third place. This year’s winners beat out almost 3,000 other student-submitted films.

The students plan to donate half of their $3,000 prize money to Sandy Hook Promise, a gun violence prevention organization founded by families who had children taken from them in the 2012 school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. An interview with the mother of a Sandy Hook victim is a powerful element of the girls’ film.

Read Sarah’s story and watch the film here. Congratulations to these students and social studies teacher Erin Mangan and technology teacher Dean Mulherin, who helped create the documentary.

This project — and the national accolades it has earned — is just the latest proof that the school board and teachers’ union could learn a lesson or two from students and teachers whose focus is on excellence and education, not politics and patronage.