By Brynna Sentel
INDIANAPOLIS—Twelve Indiana elementary and middle schools were honored as 2019 Indiana National Blue Ribbon Schools in a ceremony Monday at the Indiana Statehouse.
Schools of all sizes were chosen for the honor based on high levels of rigor and performance or their academic growth. Eleven of the 12 schools being recognized had either received an A letter grade or a four-star recognition among other honors as a school corporation.
“It is a complete group effort,” said Principal Ronda Swartz of Immaculate Heart of Mary School, which is part of the Archdiocese in Indianapolis. “I think our school is successful because we have tremendous parent involvement, I have a rock-star staff that I would put against any school in the state, and our kids are outstanding.”
Lynn Pierce, principal of Loge Elementary School in Warrick County, said her staff and students worked hard for many years to improve and credited the support from the community as well as the quality of the staff for the recognition.
Loge Elementary School in Warrick County was one of 12 schools recognized as a 2019 Indiana National Blue Ribbon School. Photo by Brynna Sentel, TheStatehouseFile.com
“It all begins with loving your students first and teaching them second,” Pierce added.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick congratulated the schools that accomplished so many great things in the past year but said later in an interview, there is still more to strive for in Hoosier education.
“It makes me think about some work we have to do at the middle school and high school levels that weren’t as represented, and that’s not atypical and that’s a big lift but I think we can get there,” McCormick said.
Vince Barnes, principal of Saint Maria Goretti School in the Diocese of Lafayette, said it was nice to receive the recognition but that’s not why they do what they do.
“We work hard every day to try to provide what is best for our kids,” Barnes said.
This is exactly what McCormick said she hopes all schools strive for, adding, “If you do it for the right reason good things will happen.”
The other schools that were recognized as 2019 Indiana National Blue Ribbon Schools are Brownsburg West Middle School of Brownsburg Community School Corp.; Ferdinand and Holland elementary schools of Southeast Dubois Community School Corp.; Immaculate Heart of Mary School of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis School District; Lincoln Trail Elementary School of North Spencer County School Corp.; and Loge Elementary School of Warrick County School Corp.
The other Blue Ribbon schools are Mohawk Trails Elementary School of Carmel Clay Schools; Saint Joseph Grade School of the Diocese of Ft. Wayne-South Bend School District; Saint Maria Goretti School of the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana School District; Saint Thomas Aquinas School of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis School District; Unionville Elementary School of Monroe County Community School Corp.; and Van Buren Elementary School of Plainfield Community School Corp.
Brynna Sentel is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.