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Department of Education Honors Schools with National Blue Ribbon Awards
posted by: Ruthie | November 20, 2012, 02:30 PM   

Last week at an annual luncheon hosted in the nation's capital, the Department of Education honored 314 schools across the country as the 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools.

Secretary Duncan proclaimed, "Our nation has no greater responsibility than helping all children realize their full potential. Schools honored with the National Blue Ribbon Schools award are committed to accelerating student achievement and preparing students for success in college and careers. Their work reflects the conviction that every child has promise and that education is the surest pathway to a strong, secure future."

The National Blue Ribbon Schools program recognizes public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in students' levels of academic achievement.

In addition to granting schools the National Blue Ribbon award, the program also awards the esteemed Terrel H. Bell Award for Outstanding Leadership. Named after the founder of the National Blue Ribbon award, the Department of Education bestowed this distinction to seven principals of the 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools.

Among these principals were several inspiring figures. Principal Pam Camper, of Russell D. Jones Elementary School in Rogers, Arkansas, re-organized her elementary school to maximize learning for her students, nearly three-quarters of whom are English learners, by hiring bilingual teachers and pairing classroom and English language development teachers as co-teachers. Through her outreach, parent attendance at parent-teacher conferences is now 100%.

Principal Blaine Helwig of J. Walter Graham Elementary School in Austin, Texas, brought students' scores from "barely acceptable" to "exemplary" in just five years. Using strategies that help students master fundamental math and reading skills, he designed a progress monitoring system for teachers that gauges students' current abilities and where they need to improve.

Principal Liana Szeto of Alice Fong Yu Alternative School in San Francisco, California, was hired in 1984 as a kindergarten teacher in the nation's first public school Chinese immersion program. Since then she has worked tirelessly to develop Chinese curricula and materials and to draw students from all backgrounds. In 1995 she opened Alice Fong Yu Alternative School, the first Chinese immersion middle school in the country, backed by the same kind of rigorous preparation that ensured success in the elementary level program.

To read more about the National Blue Ribbon Award or the Terrel H. Bell Award for Outstanding Leadership, check out the Department of Education's website.

Congratulations to all of the honorees!

Are you implementing programs similar to the principals that won the Terrel H. Bell Award?

Comment below.

Comments (1)Add Comment
written by caitlin12, December 03, 2012

This award speaks to the total commitment of the teachers, students, parents, and the community – it is an award that everyone is extremely delighted to be receiving. I congratulate those schools who are truly great, where their design is one that includes all and where all students are welcomed and challenged to high achievement in personal statement writing or write personal statement.

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