Following a nomination from last winter, Paintsville Elementary School held a pep rally for students Monday after being named a National Blue Ribbon School, joining only four other public schools in the state to receive the prestigious designation, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Education.
Paintsville Independent School District Superintendent David Gibson said it was an honor to receive the designation and directed his thanks toward staff and board members who he said have been with the district for 20 years, helping to steadily grow the school into one worthy of such praise.
“Today, the U.S. Department of Education recognized Paintsville Elementary School as a National Blue Ribbon School, which names us as one of the top schools in the nation,” Gibson said. “We want to thank (PES Principal Katie Webb), our wonderful teachers, our great students and our phenomenal parents for being part of this accomplishment. This is an enormous recognition for our school system, for our students and for our teachers and it truly honors what we have known for years: That we are remarkable in educating our students.
“This is an example of great teamwork from our board of education members who have extremely high expectations to (Webb) and our teachers for constantly challenging our students,” Gibson continued. “It also shows how great our students are and how great our parent support is. It truly is a great award for our entire school community.”
PES joined Huntertown Elementary of Woodford County, Oak Hill Elementary of Pulaski County, Spottsville Elementary of Henderson County and Wyan-Pine Grove Elementary of Laurel County in receiving the award. According to Webb, being one of the schools selected places PES amongst less than one-third of one percent of schools to receive the honor in the entire U.S.
According to the statement, PES is among an elite group of public and private elementary, middle and high schools across the country recognized this year.
In its 36-year history, the statement said, the national Blue Ribbon Schools program has become a trademark of excellence and a symbol of exemplary teaching and learning recognized by everyone from parents to policy makers.
The program recognizes schools in one of two performance categories: Exemplary High Performing Schools which are among the state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests, according to the statement, and Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools, which are among the state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students over the past five years. In this group, student group performance and high school graduation rates for each group are at high levels, the statement said.
“Kentucky’s Blue Ribbon Schools are great examples of schools that are moving student outcomes in the right direction,” Interim Commissioner of Education Wayne Lewis said. “These schools are a few Kentucky examples of what is possible when schools put the needs of students first and use data to guide decision-making and strategy. The leadership, staff, students, and parents of these schools deserve all the accolades
this national honor will bestow upon them.”
Representatives from each of Kentucky’s Blue Ribbon Schools will join those from other states at a recognition ceremony in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 7-8.
More information on the program and a list of past Kentucky winners are available at, www.ed.gov/nationalblueribbonschools.