DB Elementary honored with Blue Ribbon

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 28, 2004

DEERING -Dawson-Bryant Elementary Principal Eric Holmes had dreams of gold.

No, he is not an Olympic hopeful but may be just as proud and excited.

After being notified last year that Dawson-Bryant Elementary was one of only 17 schools in Ohio to be nominated for the U.S. Department of Education's 2004 No Child Left Behind - Blue Ribbon Schools Program, the educator could have been content to be nominated.

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Not a chance. On Monday, Holmes learned that the school will receive the honor as one of only 16 schools across the state. Only 205 schools in 39 states have received the distinction so far.

"We have worked so hard. The teachers, students, parents, support staff, substitutes, retired teachers - all worked so hard over the past five years to improve our scores and make sure what we teach counts," Holmes said.

The school was nominated last November by Susan Tave Zelman, superintendent of public instruction, because of excellent scores on the 2002-2003 Ohio proficiency test. A score of at least 75 percent was required in math and reading. Dawson-Bryant scored 89 percent in reading and 97 percent in math.

Holmes conceded that a nomination was a tremendous honor but emphasized that it was not enough.

"Here in the Dawson Bryant School District and in all of Lawrence County, we are not just satisfied with being nominated. We want to win," he said. "We worked very hard. We have a staff and personnel that are second to none. I believe motivation has been the key to our success."

The principal indicated that they have been able to learn from other schools in the county and try to incorporate ideas that work best for their staff and their students.

Kristine Cohn, a representative for the USDE, visited the school this morning to officially honor the school.

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is an education reform designed to improve student achievement and change the culture of America's schools.