GILMANTON — A decade after being designated as "a school in need of improvement", under No Child Left Behind standards, the Gilmanton Elementary School has been named one of 335 National Blue Ribbon Schools by Arne Duncan, United States Secretary of Education.
Begun in 1982, the National Blue Ribbon Program recognizes schools for their academic excellence as measured by state and national assessments as well as schools achieving progress in improving the academic performance of their students. Gilmanton Elementary School was honored for its academic excellence.
John Fauci, school superintendent, said yesterday that "the school is a mirror of the community and when the community the supports its schools good things happen." Apart from the staff of the school, from the janitors to the teachers to the principal, he said that the award reflects the support of the School Board, Budget Committee, parents and not least the voters of Gilmanton. "They have all given us the resources we need to be successful," Fauci said.
Principal Carol Locke, who began her career at the school as a reading teacher in 1987, said simply "without our staff, all the people in the school, including the janitors, cooks, aides and teachers, we couldn't have earned this award. Everyone," she stressed, "worked very, very hard for this."
Fauci underlined "the culture and climate conducive to collaboration" at the school, explaining that "it's a bottom-up rather than top-down school. We make better decisions collectively than we do individually."
Emphasizing the role of the teachers, Locke said that "they know their students. What they can do, what they can't do and make sure they do what they need to do."
In November, Fauci and Locke, accompanied by Debra Bergeron, assistant principal, and Jan Drinen, a teacher, will travel to Washington for a ceremony where they will receive the award on behalf of the school and the community.
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