USAG YONGSAN - Seoul American Elementary School held a Blue Ribbon Flag-Raising Ceremony, June 6, at the Seoul American Elementary Flag pole. SAES received the National Blue Ribbon award for 2016 for their outstanding level of performance in education. The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Every year the U. S. Department of Education seeks out and celebrates great American schools, demonstrating that all students can achieve high levels. More than 7,500 schools across the country have been presented with this achievement. The National Blue Ribbon School award reaffirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content. Special guest speaker, Dr. Linda Curtis, the DoDEA Principal Deputy Director and Associate Director of Academics, visited the Blue Ribbon awards ceremony to share how impressed she was with the achievements of SAES. In her remarks, she emphasized the hard work of teachers, staff members and especially the SAES students themselves, encouraging them to keep up the great work. "The teachers, principals, students, parents, and local communities supporting these schools worked hard together to achieve this honor. This award reflects a focus on high standards and dedication and teamwork in pursuing excellence. On behalf of everyone in the DoDEA school system, I would like to congratulate everyone associated with these schools," said Curtis. Dr. Suzanne Landrum, the Principal of SAES mentioned the following quote said by one of the teachers, "The proverb 'It takes a village to raise a child' is applied with teachers working as a family to support, encourage, mentor, monitor, and praise the students in our school and not just those in their perspective classrooms. The faculty has come together to deal with changes in curriculum, administration, high student turnover rate, and the challenges that come with being a military community in an overseas location." The ceremony featured children waving their blue flags in the air and concluded with the big Blue Ribbon flag going up the SAES flag pole.