Official lauds Dawson-Bryant for job well done

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 28, 2004

DEERING - "I'm going to walk around with it all day long," Dawson-Bryant Elementary School Principal Eric Holmes said as he held a certificate in a blue folder.

The certificate, from the U.S. Department of Education, was official proof that hard work and dedication pays off: the elementary school has been designated a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School for the 2003-04 school year.

In presenting the honor, U.S. Department of Education envoy Kristine Cohn said that Dawson-Bryant is one of only 17 schools in Ohio, one of 200 across the nation to be honored for making significant achievement in its education under the "No Child Left Behind" guidelines.

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"All of you here, all of the wonderful cooks and bus drivers and teachers, and the children, you will be looked at as role models throughout the entire country," Cohn said. "A couple of things these (winning) schools have in common: you produced results and you reduced the achievement gap. You are role models for the rest of the nation."

In accepting the award, Superintendent James Payne said he was proud of the school's students, staff and parents for joining together in the common goal of excellence in education.

"The mission of our school district is to maximize the potential of these people here in the floor," Payne said, gesturing to the children seated concert-style in the gymnasium. "We want to establish high expectations and develop capacity around those expectations."

To be eligible for a Blue Ribbon award, a school must meet one of

three criteria: schools must have at least 40 percent of its students from disadvantaged backgrounds who dramatically improve student performance on state tests; school whose students, regardless of background, achieve in the top 10 percent on state tests; or private schools that achieve in the top 10 percent in the nation.Schools must also meet its "Adequate Yearly Progress" in reading and math.

Dawson- Bryant school were rated "excellent" on state report cards handed out this year.