On April 12th, 2014, the Southern Region of CEFPI (Council of Educational Facility Planners International) held its annual conference in Dallas, Texas. During the conference, the new O.W. Dillon Elementary School in Kentwood, La. , designed by Holly & Smith Architects, received an award for Design Excellence. The O.W. Dillon Elementary School is part of the Tangipahoa Parish School System. Eleven projects were submitted from the Southern Region which includes Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Of the eleven projects, only 3 were recognized by the jury. The projects were reviewed by a distinguished panel of nine educational facility practitioners with expertise in education, planning and architecture. The international team convened several times to discuss the projects and determine which facilities not only meet the criteria, but stood-out as exceptional community resources that serve the students, teachers, and residents. The criteria for being recognized included how the design of the facility engaged, impacted and responded to four key areas: the community environment, the physical environment, the planning process, and most importantly, the learning environment.