U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today that Lake Marion Elementary School has been named a National Blue Ribbon School.
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students achieve very high levels of learning compared to other schools or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap.
Lake Marion Elementary was one of 342 schools throughout the country to be named to the list; up to 420 schools may be nominated each year.
“It’s an honor to be nominated, much less win,” said Bret Domstrand, principal at Lake Marion Elementary School. “This is the result of hard work by our staff, teachers, students and families who contribute to making Lake Marion a great place to learn.”
Lake Marion was nominated as an exemplary high performing Title I school, which means the school has consistently performed at high levels while having a significant number of students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, Domstrand said.
“Everybody does something to contribute: our teachers, tutors, custodians, office and our student nutrition staff. They all make a difference for kids,” Domstrand said.
Superintendent Michael Baumann echoed those thoughts.
“Lake Marion’s designation as a Blue Ribbon School reflects its staff members’ commitments to excellence,” Baumann said. “I am proud of our students and staff members’ accomplishments.”
DeVos said other schools may learn from the Blue Ribbon winners’ efforts.
“National Blue Ribbon Schools are active demonstrations of preparing every child for a bright future,” DeVos said to the honorees. “You are visionaries, innovators and leaders. You have much to teach us: some of you personalize student learning, others engage parents and communities in the work and life of your local schools and still others develop strong and forward-thinking leaders from among your teaching staff.”
Now in its 35th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed recognition on more than 8,500 schools. On Nov. 6-7, the secretary and the Department of Education will celebrate with these honorees at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Lake Marion is the third school in the Lakeville Area Public Schools district to earn the National Blue Ribbon award. Cherry View Elementary School earned Blue Ribbon status in 2004, and Lakeville North High School was named a Blue Ribbon school in 2009.
Lake Marion Elementary students and staff plan to hold a school-wide celebration Oct. 13.