MINSTER/MARIA STEIN – Two local elementary schools, at Marion Local and Minster school districts, were named Tuesday as being National Blue Ribbon award winners. They were two of 16 Ohio schools given this honor.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona recognized 325 schools nation-wide. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
Both Minster and Marion Local won on overall academic performance.
Minster superintendent Brenda Boeke said, “We’re very excited for our elementary school to be awarded a National Blue Ribbon school. We realize awards such as this are only attainable because of our dedicated, high achieving students, invaluable staff, and amazingly supportive community.”
Boeke commended elementary Principal Leanne Keller for ushering through the completing the application this summer once the school was notified of their nomination by the Ohio Department of Education.
The Minster superintendent noted their high school received Blue Ribbon honors in 2019.
Marion Local Elementary Principal Nick Wilker said the Covid pandemic did present its hurdles in determining who would win the award.
“It was a little tricky this year for them (Department of Education) because they use all report card data but with the shut-downs, there were some gaps in 2020. But I don’t think it would have made a difference because our testing results have been pretty similar over the years.”
Wilker said besides the support of an incredibly strong community, he said “Our staff works so incredibly hard to stay on top of all educational trends, but at the end of the day, we just teach these kids. We see what they need, we give it to them, so all of them are growing as much as they can through the year.”
Marion Local plans to send a delegation to Washington, DC, for the National Blue Ribbon Award ceremony on Nov. 4 and 5. Wilker said on Nov. 22 they will hold a school assembly to explain the significance of the award to the student body.
A complete list of Ohio schools includes
• Bay Village – Westerly Elementary School, Bay Village City School District
• Beachwood – Hilltop Elementary School, Beachwood City School District
• Canton – Whipple Heights Elementary School, Perry Local School District
• Cincinnati – Mariemont Junior High School, Mariemont City School District
• Cincinnati – Montgomery Elementary School, Sycamore Community City School District
• Dublin – Dublin Jerome High School, Dublin City School District
• Dublin – St. Brigid Of Kildare Elementary School, Diocese of Columbus
• Girard – Girard Intermediate Middle School, Girard City School District
• Granville – Granville High School, Granville Exempted Village School District
• Hudson – Seton Catholic School, Diocese of Cleveland
• Kettering – Orchard Park Elementary School, Kettering City School District
• Logan – Hocking Hills Elementary School, Logan-Hocking Local School District
• Maria Stein – Marion Local Elementary School, Marion Local School District
• Minster – Minster Elementary School, Minster Local School District
• Steubenville – Pugliese Elementary School West, Steubenville City School District
• Whitehouse – Fallen Timbers Middle School, Anthony Wayne Local School District
Secretary Cardona said, “I commend all our Blue Ribbon honorees for working to keep students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. In the face of unprecedented circumstances, you found creative ways to engage, care for, protect, and teach our children. Blue Ribbon Schools have so much to offer and can serve as a model for other schools and communities so that we can truly build back better.”
Now in its 39th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed approximately 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.