U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Celebrates 340 Schools as 2014 National Blue Ribbon Schools

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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Celebrates 340 Schools as 2014 National Blue Ribbon Schools

Eight principals honored with Terrel H. Bell Awards for Outstanding Leadership

November 11, 2014

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan honored 340 schools today with the 2014 National Blue Ribbon Schools award at a luncheon at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.  The award recognizes public and private schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. These schools demonstrate that all students can achieve at high levels. The schools – 290 public and 50 private - are among nearly 7,900 schools that have received the coveted award over the past 32 years.

“These great schools are fulfilling the promise of American education - that all students, no matter their zip code, can flourish when schools provide safe, creative, and challenging learning environments,” Secretary Duncan said. “National Blue Ribbon Schools are models of consistent excellence and a resource for other schools and districts. We celebrate them for their tireless effort and boundless creativity in reaching and teaching every student.”

Additionally, eight principals from the 2014 cohort of National Blue Ribbon Schools were recognized with the Terrel H. Bell Award for their outstanding work and the vital role they play in guiding their students and schools to excellence, frequently under challenging circumstances. Named for the second Secretary of Education, the award honors school leaders who are committed to fostering successful teaching and learning at their schools, and who are committed to education as a powerful and liberating force in people’s lives. They are principals who do whatever it takes to help their students meet high standards.

“Great principals shape a school’s culture,” Secretary Duncan said. “It is principals who can nurture, retain and empower great teachers and serve as the catalyst for significant school improvement.  These principals recognized with the Bell Award have created environments in which students and teachers are excited about coming to school each day. They inspire their teachers and have a positive impact on instructional practices that lead to improved learning outcomes. The Bell Award is a small recognition for the essential work they do every day.”

The Bell Awards were presented to the following principals by the U.S. Department of Education, together with the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the Association for Middle Level Education and the National Association of Secondary School Principals:

  • Alicia Aceves, Andrews School, Whittier, California
  • Candis Hagaman, Caldwell Early College High School, Hudson, North Carolina
  • Kathy Hunt, Edmond Doyle Elementary School, McAlester, Oklahoma
  • Melissa Helene Jacobs-Thibaut, Houston Academy for International Studies, Houston, Texas
  • Robert Kern, Nazareth Area Middle School, Nazareth, Pennsylvania
  • Robert Lyall, St. Patrick Catholic School, Kingman, Kansas
  • Mario Marcos, Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, Compton, California
  • Britani Creel Moses, LaVace Stewart Elementary School, Kemah, Texas

The Bell Award is part of the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. Principals are nominated by their school communities during the final stages of the National Blue Ribbon Schools application process.

A full list of the 2014 National Blue Ribbon Schools is available at http://www.ed.gov/nationalblueribbonschools.