Blue Ribbon honor makes us all proud

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 23, 2004

Tribune editorial board

Living in Appalachia is unlike living anywhere else in the world. The scenery, the culture and the people are unique in their own way.

Unfortunately, life in Appalachia also means living with a few stereotypes. We'd be rich if we had a nickle for every time someone referred to our area while wearing a goofy look on their face or, perhaps, humming a bit of "Dueling Banjos."

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All too often people from outside our area look down their noses at us because, perhaps, we talk a little different than our big-city brothers.

So in light of that constant chiding the moments when folks from our area shine just make us even more proud.

This week, Dawson-Bryant Elementary School was named a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. The program is part of the federal "No Child Left Behind" initiative.

Earning a Blue Ribbon designation is nothing at which to balk. Success takes serious work on the part of teachers, administrators, students and parents. Excellence on the state's proficiency tests is the key.

To put Dawson-Bryant's achievement in perspective, consider this. Only 16 schools in the entire state of Ohio will earn the designation. That's an amazing statistic.

The honor proves a couple of things.

First, it shows the hard work and perseverance of all involved in the educational systems at Dawson-Bryant.

Second, the honor should serve as an example for which other area schools should strive. The award virtually eliminates most of the excuses that might normally be brought up as to why our students cannot excel. The students' backgrounds and district resources from district to district in our county are similar. If Dawson-Bryant can do it, others can, too.

Lastly, the award serves as proof to wary outsiders that their impression of Appalachia may be vastly different than the reality of Appalachia.

Kudos to the staff of the school. Thanks for making us proud.