VICENZA, Italy — On Sept. 20, the U.S. Department of Education recognized Vicenza Elementary School as a National Blue Ribbon School for 2023.
The coveted award identifies the hard work of educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content.
Thomas M. Brady, Dept. of Defense Education Activity Director, said he is incredibly proud of the students, staff, and faculty at Vicenza Elementary School.
“Their dedication to exemplary achievement, as well as strong support from parents and the military community, are reflected in this great honor,” Brady said.
This honor is only given to the very best schools who perform or progress at the highest levels. This year only 353 schools out of over 98,000 received this distinction.
“I am proud of the leadership, dedicated teachers, and staff at Vicenza Elementary School for their remarkable achievement,” said Dr. Michelle Howard-Brahaney, DoDEA-Europe Director for Student Excellence. “This recognition from the U.S. Department of Education underscores their unwavering commitment to providing a world-class education for the children of our nation's military families.”
This is such a special recognition that less than 1 percent of public schools across the nation receive this honor each year and this is the only DoDEA school recognized this year.
“The dedication of the leaders, teachers, staff, and students continues to shine through, and I am humbled and honored to be a part of it,” said Dr. Jeff Arrington, DoDEA-Europe South Superintendent. “We have the privilege to serve families that serve and protect our nation by providing military-connected students with a nurturing environment to learn and grow.”
When hearing of the announcement, U.S. Army Garrison Italy Commander, Col. Scott Horrigan, congratulated the school on his Instagram page.
“Our families are lucky to have such dedicated faculty and teachers committed to our kids,” Horrigan said.
Last year two other schools in DoDEA South were awarded this same honor, the Naples, Italy and Rota, Spain Elementary Schools.
For more information on the National Blue Ribbon School award click here.
Randall Jackson, USAG Italy Public Affairs, contributed to this report.