It was no surprise to Northwestern Middle School sixth-graders Izzy Giannamore, Shelby Kennedy and Chloe Duguay that their former school, Northwestern Elementary School, was recognized as one of the 329 National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2016.
The girls are a part of Girl Scout Troop 31081 Albion, which planted mums outside the elementary school this fall as a going away present to the school from the sixth-graders in the troop.
“We were all really sad about leaving the elementary school, so we wanted to do something nice to show how much we loved the school,” Giannamore said.
U.S. Secretary of Eduction John B. King Jr. announced Sept. 28 that Northwestern elementary was recognized as an Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing School and was one of Pennsylvania’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school's subgroups and all students over the past five years.
Northwestern School District Superintendent Dr. Karen Downie, elementary Principal Terry Trimble and fifth-grade teacher Tom Parker are in Washington DC today to officially receive the award.
“I cannot say how proud I am of the teachers, staff and students who have worked so hard to achieve this recognition,” Downie said. “This award is a way to recognize our students and teachers for their hard work.”
In the past 34 years, there have only been six schools in Erie County that have received this award – two Elementary and four High Schools. Northwestern Elementary is now among that elite group of recipients. The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed this coveted award on fewer than 8,500 schools in more than three decades.
"National Blue Ribbon Schools are proof that we can prepare every child for college and meaningful careers, King said in a video message to honorees. "Your schools are on the cutting edge, pioneering innovative educational practices—professional learning communities, project-based learning, social and emotional learning, positive behavior systems—making you shining examples for your communities, your state and the nation."
The award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content. The National Blue Ribbon Schools flag gracing a school's building is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning. National Blue Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and a model for schools still striving for excellence.The Girl Scouts also planted mums at the high school as part of their project. Check out pics here: