Extra Credit: Blue Ribbon - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Extra Credit: Blue Ribbon

By Kym Clark - bio | email | Facebook

Every year, the US Department of Education honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools that are either high performing or have improved student achievement to high levels.

This year there are only two Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence in the MidSouth. One of them is a private school. St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School.

Principal Beth York said the award is a "school environment thing".

"This award takes years of hard work and effort with every single person involved in the school level," she said, meaning students, faculty, staff, administrators and parents.

The Council for American Private Education, a national group, recommended St. Francis for the Blue Ribbon award because of the students' advanced academic achievement and stellar standardized test scores in math and reading over the past 5 years.

St. Francis was one of only 50 private schools nationwide to receive this award.

York said the award is a huge pat on the back for a job that is not only well done in the past and today, but work that will carry over into the future, as well.

York exclaimed, "It's just a pat on the back for each teacher that loves kids, that gives everything they've got every single day to make sure that children succeed. And to the parents who get their children ready to begin school, who send them in those doors well fed and ready to learn. And, finally, to the children who can't wait to come through those doors, big smiles on their faces, can't wait to see what entertaining kinds of things are going to be happening in that classroom throughout the day."

Principal York and a teacher representative attended the Blue Ribbon awards ceremony in Washington, D. C., last November and were presented the award by US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

The other MidSouth school to win the award this year was Douglas Elementary, a Memphis City School.

For a complete list of this year's Blue Ribbon winners go to: http://www.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/awards.html

Have an idea for a future Extra Credit? Please send Kym Clark an email to: extracredit@wmctv.com.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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