BEMS celebrates National Blue Ribbon award
December 11, 2012
STUTTGART, Germany -- Böblingen Elementary/Middle School officially unveiled its National Blue Ribbon School award Dec. 6.
While Department of Defense Education Activity officials announced the win in September, the award was not presented to the school until Nov. 12 in Washington, D.C.
BEMS officials elected to publicly celebrate the award in conjunction with a December academic awards assembly.
The school gathered Dec. 6 to commemorate the occasion with the unveiling of the National Blue Ribbon School flag and plaque.
"We would not have been able to win this award without the great work you guys do every day. It's all because of you. Congratulations," BEMS Principal Dale Moore told fourth- and fifth-graders, staff, teachers and parents during the first of two assemblies.
This year, BEMS was one of 314 schools to receive the award. Two other DoDEA schools, SHAPE Elementary School in Mons, Belgium, and Charles Turner Joy Elementary/Middle School in Chinhae, South Korea, also received the award.
The schools will serve as models for other schools across the nation.
The award honors public and private schools based on their overall academic excellence or for their progress toward significantly improving student academic achievement levels, according to the U.S. Department of Education website.
BEMS received the award as a an exemplary high performing school, according to Moore.
It is a coveted award. "Less than 1 percent of schools are recognized each year," Moore said. In fact, only 7,000 schools have been awarded a National Blue Ribbon award in the last 30 years.
Moore and Teresa Senna, a BEMS kindergarten teacher, traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend an awards luncheon presided over by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
"The ceremony was phenomenal," said Senna, adding that she "felt honored to represent the school at the event."
Senna, a teacher for over 23 years, said she enjoyed attending the ceremony because it gave her a chance "to meet people from across the U.S. who are all focused on education and children."
For Jane Bernasconi, a Parent Teacher Association volunteer and BEMS parent, the award "recognizes the dedication and hard work not only of the faculty and staff, but also of the community at large."
The PTA "works closely with the school and responds to the teachers and administrative needs and requests," said Bernasconi.
In the award application, school officials paid homage to the many programs and activities supported by the PTA, writing that the school enjoyed "amazing support" through the organization.
"The award gives the school bragging rights," said Moore, adding that there was "no way that we could have won the award without our great students, highly dedicated teachers and supportive parents.
"It takes all three to make this type of award happen."
For more information about the Blue Ribbon Schools program and a complete list of 2012 winners, visit: http://blueribbon.rmcres.com.