Blue Ribbon for BBES
Hartselle school one of five in state to receive national honor
Barkley Bridge Elementary School in Hartselle is one of five schools in Alabama and 305 in the nation to be named National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education based on their overall academic excellence or for their success in closing achievement gaps.
The highest-ranking schools in the nation were announced Thursday by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
The honor for Barkley Bridge comes a year after it was selected as a Blue Ribbon Lighthouse school.
“We feel very proud to receive Blue Ribbon awards in back-to-back years,” said Barkley Bridge Principal Susan Hayes. “I think the evaluation and improvement process we went though under the Blue Ribbon Lighthouse program was a springboard for this achievement. We also had some milestones along the way such as meeting all of our AYP goals and being nominated by the State Department of Education.”
Hayes said she and Ed Land, librarian and lead teacher, will attend the awards ceremony in the nation’s capital to accept the Blue Ribbon award, which will recognize Barkley Bridge as a high performing school.
“We’re going to save some of the hoopla until we get back,” she said, “but we’ve already staked out a place on the front of the building to display the award.
“But we don’t want to give the impression that we satisfied with where we are,” she added. “We still have some areas where we working to improve.”
“To me the National Blue Ribbon award is the highest honor a school can achieve,” said Hartselle School Superintendent Dr. Mike Reed. “The staff, students and parents at Barkley Bridge are to commended for all they have accomplished. I might add that we have other schools in the system that are in the process of attaining the same level of excellence.”
Four other schools in Alabama were included on the Blue Ribbon list. They are Oak Mountain High School in Birmingham, Our Lady of the Valley Catholic School in Birmingham, Phillips Preparatory School in Mobile and Thelma Smiley Morris Elementary School in Montgomery.
The department of education will honor all of the 256 public and 49 private schools with their National Blue Ribbon awards at a conference and awards ceremony in Washington D.C. Nov. 14-15.
“America’s long-term economic prosperity and civic engagement depends on our children receiving a world-class education,” Duncan said in a statement. “National Blue Ribbon Schools are committed to accelerating student achievement and preparing students for success in college and careers. Their success is an example for others to follow.” �