DENVER (CBS4) – A Denver school is basking in the glow of national attention after President Obama used Bruce Randolph as an example of how administrators and teachers can make a difference during his State of the Union address.

The Colorado delegation applauded the school’s success. The attention has given the school inspiration to keep getting better.

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Bruce Randolph School is in the heart of gang territory.

“There are always snide remarks. Then the teachers get distracted by that and focus on disobedient students rather than the ones who want to learn,” student Maria Miller said.

The president’s mention of Bruce Randolph was a “shout out” heard in living rooms across the nation.

“It was breathtaking,” Miller said.

Bruce Randolph was the first Colorado school to be granted “innovation” status allowing administrators flexibility to run the school the way they see fit. Former principal Kristin Waters is known for being the turnaround leader. She too was surprised to hear her name pass through the president’s lips.

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“It’s pretty cool,” Waters said.

And the validations kept coming. Sen. Michael Bennet, former Denver Public Schools superintendent, joined an assembly for seniors on Wednesday via Skype.

“How many people have younger brothers and sisters? They’re all looking at you every day. Be a model to them,” Bennet told the students.

It’s well-deserved attention.

“We changed and have grown together and we went from hating each other to loving each other,” Miller said.

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Waters has now been promoted. She works with groups of principals in hopes of creating even better schools.