Ireland school awarded Blue Ribbon status

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Ireland Elementary students celebrate Thursday the school receiving the National Blue Ribbon Schools Award.


IRELAND — Ireland Elementary School is one of eight Indiana schools to receive the 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools Award from the U.S. Department of Education.

“It is an absolute honor for our students, staff and community to receive this,” said Principal Shannon Bauer. “It shows that the hard work and dedication we put into our school really pays off. We do everything for our students.”

Schools are eligible to receive the award every 10 years, and must be nominated by the department of education in their state. Ireland was last named a Blue Ribbon School in 2009.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program was created in 1982 and honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools that are either high-performing or have improved student achievement — especially among disadvantaged students.

Each year, the U.S. Department of Education awards schools — 367 schools nationwide were named Blue Ribbon Schools for 2020 — whose students attain and maintain academic excellence. The National Blue Ribbon program is part of a larger national effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about best school leadership and teaching practices.

“Building a school community focused on student achievement and growth is a foundation for academic excellence and success,” State Superintendent Dr. Jennifer McCormick said in a press release. “I congratulate Indiana’s Blue Ribbon Schools for their commitment to creating a climate centered around establishing and maintaining high academic expectations. Their work deserves this national recognition.”

Bauer said that Ireland staff members have high expectations for their students, but they make school fun.

“It’s a great environment to come in to,” the principal said. “It’s a happy place to be.”

Ireland Elementary third-grade teacher Lisa Kincer has been part of the school’s committee working to achieve the Blue Ribbon status.

She said the award is a testament to the community.

“We are a big community and everyone works hard for our kids,” she said.

Ireland’s students and staff were to celebrate their Blue Ribbon status at school today. Bauer said the kids would have blue doughnuts and the school would be decorated in blue. The students were also encouraged to dress up in blue attire.

Other Indiana schools named National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2020 include: Boone Meadow School, Zionsville Community Schools; Cedarville Elementary School, East Allen County Schools; Harris Elementary School, Greenfield-Central Community Schools; Herron High School, Herron Charter; Kolling Elementary School, Lake Central School Corporation; North Salem Elementary School, North West Hendrick Schools; and Speedway Senior High School, Town of Speedway.

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