Chuck Gibson reports:
St. Margaret of York school in Deerfield Township has been officially recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School for 2013.
The National Blue Ribbon Schools award honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students perform at very high levels, or where significant improvements are being made in the level of achievement by the students.
“Excellence in education matters and we should honor the schools that are leading the way to prepare students for success in college and careers,” U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. “National Blue Ribbon schools represent examples of educational excellence, and their work reflects the belief that every child in America deserves a world-class education.”
St. Margaret is one of 50 private schools and 236 public schools the Department of Education will honor in 2013 as National Blue Ribbon Schools for their academic excellence. First-year Principal Kevin Vance joined the entire faculty, staff and student body in celebrating the honor during a morning ceremony at the school.
“As 1 of the 50 private schools in the country recognized, we are extremely honored to receive this prestigious award,” Vance said.
In a letter to parents and students, Vance expressed a feeling of honor and prestige on behalf of all the students and staff. He also expressed gratitude for the support and sacrifices made by parents and the parish which “enables SMOY to provide a remarkable education.”
Students, faculty, and staff participated in a number of activities throughout the school day Tuesday to celebrate the honor. Blue ribbons decorated doorways, walls, windows, and even a portrait of Pope Francis. Sister Helen Lucille Habig, assistant school superintendent for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati was on hand to help recognize the honor for St. Margaret of York School.
“I can remember when St. Margaret of York was in the basement of the rectory,” Sister Helen Habig said. “It has built up over the years and has been wonderful academically as well as Catholic identity. It’s the foundation parents have laid in the home before the kids even got here. It’s a tribute to them.”
Vance took that thought a step further recognizing the families who helped start the school 28 years ago in 1985. Vance says it was their commitment to doing everything necessary to create an exemplary school that provided the foundation for today’s honor. He mentioned investing the money for building, but more importantly, the hiring of exceptional faculty to provide experiences for the students which will prepare them for success at the highest levels.
“They have made a commitment here to do whatever is needed for all children to be successful in the classroom,” Vance said. He challenged the students to not let this be the end of the race, but to go even further. “That’s our challenge; to maintain what we have, but push ourselves to go even farther and be even better. We’re not going to sit back. This is a huge accomplishment for the parish and the families who started the school.”
More about St. Margaret of York School at: www.smoy.us.
More about the National Blue Ribbon School program: www.ed.gov/programs.