MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - Two north Alabama schools are officially Blue Ribbon Schools, a national award that recognizes a school's overall academic excellence or student improvement toward those standards.
Students at Holy Spirit Regional Catholic School and Walnut Grove Elementary learned the news in assemblies on Tuesday. They also received special blue t-shirts that say they are Blue Ribbon winners.
“It is a tremendous honor for our school, just tremendous, said Holy Spirit's Principal, James Bell.
Bell says it was a long process that started in the summer of 2012, but well worth it.
“All the credit for winning this award belongs to the teachers. Our teachers are very dedicated teachers, very devoted to the school,” said Bell.
One of those teachers is Kristin Mullins, who says the Blue Ribbon recognition serves as an important reminder.
“We spend a lot of time as teachers thinking of the bad things, how can we do better, how can we improve, what can we improve upon to make it the best learning experience for the kids," said Bell. "This reward reminds us that we're doing great things. Let's just continue to do that and add to it."
At Walnut Grove, staff and students celebrated their accomplishment as well.
Madison County Schools Superintendent David Copeland was there to congratulate the school on the milestone.
"Last year in our testing, every student at Walnut Grove made proficient. And that's just unheard of,” said Copeland. “It's great for our students, the school system, this community."
In all, 286 schools nationwide received the Blue Ribbon award.
The Department of Education will honor them at a special ceremony in November in Washington, D.C.