Mary Morgan Elementary School Earns National Blue Ribbon Award
Mary Morgan Elementary School has been named a National Blue Ribbon School by the United States’ Department of Education for student achievement in spring, 2017. The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Every year the U. S. Department of Education seeks out and celebrates great American schools, schools demonstrating that all students can achieve to high levels; it is the highest honor given in the field of public and private education. The announcement was made late September by U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy Devos.
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program was created in 1982 to bring attention to quality schools across the country and to facilitate the sharing of best practices among schools.
Mary Morgan is one of only 16 public schools in the state of Illinois to receive the National Blue Ribbon distinction; it is the first ever school in Ogle County. To qualify for the designation, schools had to score in the top 15 percent of all schools in the state on the most recent standardized exams and do well on other performance measures like attendance or graduation rates. Mary Morgan is receiving the honor for being an exemplary high performing school.
“I am very proud of our students and staff,” stated Mary Morgan principal Buster Barton. “This is the first time a school in our district has been honored with this coveted award. It represents a lot of hard work and is a reflection of the support we receive by our parents and community.”
Dr. James Hammack, Byron Community Unit School District 226, stated, “The achievements of the Mary Morgan Elementary School students are reflective of a superior school comprised of outstanding teachers and support staff personnel, fine leadership, hard-working students, and parents who work with our teachers and administrators to advance student learning. The National Blue Ribbon honor is a proud recognition for our entire Byron School District community!”
All 2017 National Blue Ribbon schools will be honored at a ceremony on Nov. 6 & 7 in Washington, D.C., by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos. Schools receiving the honor will be presented with a Blue Ribbon banner and commemorative plaque.