By Alyssa Schnugg
Thunder clouds loomed over Della Davidson Elementary school Tuesday afternoon but they did not darken the excitement of the students, faculty and staff as they celebrated being named one of the best school’s in the country.
On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona announced the 325 schools across the nation that were named a National Blue Ribbon School for 2001, and Della Davidson is one of the 325.
The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Della Davidson Elementary, a school for third and fourth grades in the Oxford School District, is one of four schools in the state of Mississippi to be given the honor.
The Department recognizes all schools in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates:
- Exemplary High-Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
- Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students.
The students, teachers and staff gathered outside of the school at 1 p.m. Tuesday for a brief celebration. Kicking off the event was the Charger cheerleaders, who were escorted onto campus by the Oxford Police Department.
Former principal Marni Herrington made the announcement to the students that the school was named a Blue Ribbon school, invoking cheers and happy screams.
“I am happy to tell you that Della Davidson has been recognized as a National Blue Ribbon high-performing school,” said Herrington, who served as principal at Della until taking on the new role of chief academic officer this year. “I am so proud to work in a district that strives for excellence and I’m so proud to work alongside teachers who show that all students can perform at high levels.”
Superintendent Bradley Roberson said the National Blue Ribbon School banner gracing a school hallway is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.
“I am absolutely honored to stand before you today as your superintendent,” Roberson said. “There are about 130,000 schools in the United States of America and only 325 of given the honor of being a National Blue Ribbon School, and you are one of them.”
Also speaking to the students and faculty was former superintendent Brian Harvey who retired in June.
Students went back to their classes to enjoy cupcakes and cookies provided by the school’s PTO.