Education Secretary Celebrates Top Schools and Their Leaders at 2010 National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony

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Education Secretary Celebrates Top Schools and Their Leaders at 2010 National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony

Ten principals honored with Terrel H. Bell Awards to recognize their outstanding leadership in challenging situations

November 16, 2010
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and White House Domestic Policy Advisor Melody Barnes today honored 314 schools as the 2010 National Blue Ribbon Schools at an awards luncheon at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. The Blue Ribbon School award honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools that have helped close the achievement gap and whose students attain and maintain high academic goals. The schools—264 public and 50 private—are among more than 6,000 that have received the coveted award over the past 28 years.

“We have a responsibility to ensure that every child in this country receives a world class education,” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “Today’s Blue Ribbon Schools award winners have proven their commitment to our kids. Their work reflects the conviction that everyone can learn and succeed in the classroom.”

Additionally, 10 principals from the 2010 Blue Ribbon Schools were selected for special honors to recognize their leadership. At a breakfast ceremony today, they received the Terrel H. Bell Award for their outstanding work in fostering successful teaching and learning. The award is named after the former secretary of education to honor exceptional leaders who overcome challenging circumstances and maintain his commitment of excellent education for every student.

“These schools have thrived under their principals' leadership,” Duncan said. “They believe every student deserves a high-quality education. Despite their difficult situations, all of their schools are seeing improvement. Test scores are going up, and our kids are more confident and prepared for high school, college and careers. These principals truly care for their students.”

The Terrel H. 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 National Middle Schools Association and the National Association of Secondary School Principals:

  • Lisa Williams, Principal, Anna F. Booth Elementary School, Irvington, AL
  • Cole Young, Principal, Humboldt Elementary School, Dewey-Humboldt, AZ
  • Darlene Brister, Principal, Ryan Elementary School, Baton Rouge, LA
  • Thomas Evans, Principal, Eastern Technical High School, Baltimore, MD
  • James Verrilli, Principal, North Star Academy Charter School of Newark, Newark, NJ
  • Laverne Nimmons, Principal, Granville T. Woods Public School 335, Brooklyn, NY
  • Naomi Drouillard, Principal, Rosa Parks School-P.S. 254 Queens, Richmond Hill, NY
  • Sammy Jackson, Principal, Elgin Middle School, Elgin, OK
  • Michael Lucas, Principal, Cornell Elementary School, Coraopolis, PA
  • Sandi Jones, Principal, West Side Elementary School, Jacksonville, TX

The Bell Award is part of the Blue Ribbon Schools Program. More information about Blue Ribbon Schools can be found at A list of the 2010 Blue Ribbon Schools is available at