Principal LaDonna Turrentine said she was overcome with joy when she found out Thursday morning that the school had won the award.
"I am just so proud of all the hard work the teachers, parents and students have put in place so this could happen," Turrentine said.
The award goes to schools whose students perform at high levels or who have made dramatic improvements in their achievement, particularly for low-income children.
Johnson was chosen in the high performance category, said Tim Hensley, Floyd County Schools assistant to the superintendent.
"These schools are outstanding examples of how high expectations and hard work can lead to outstanding student achievement," said State Superintendent of Schools Brad Bryant. "These schools show that, regardless of a school's size, geography or demographics, all students can achieve at high levels."
The public schools are: Etowah High in Cherokee County, Gainesville High in Gainesville, Ila Elementary in Madison County, Johnson Elementary in Floyd County, J.S. Pate Elementary in Crisp County and Webb Bridge Middle in Fulton County. One private school, St. John the Evangelist Catholic School, in Hapeville also won the award.
"We were nominated because of our consistently rising test scores and performance," said Turrentine.
About 300 schools were recognized nationally this year. The schools be honored Nov. 15-16 in Washington, D.C.
The award has been given out annually by the Education Department since 1982.
The following is a news release from Floyd County Schools:
Johnson Elementary School is one of only six Georgia public schools to be named 2010 National Blue Ribbon Schools today. In the release from the Georgia Department of Education, State Superintendent of Schools Brad Bryant praised Johnson Elementary and the other state winners of the prestigious national award. "These six schools are outstanding examples of how high expectations and hard work can lead to outstanding student achievement," Bryant said. "These schools show that, regardless of a school's size, geography or demographics, all students can achieve at high levels." The staff at Johnson Elementary was overjoyed with this national confirmation of their efforts in promoting academic achievement. “I am so proud of the hard work past and current administrators, teachers, students, and parents have put forth to make Johnson Elementary a school with consistent outstanding academic achievement,” stated LaDonna Turrentine, principal of Johnson Elementary School. “Being named a High Performing Blue Ribbon School is confirmation of our belief that ALL students can learn and achieve.”
The No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Schools award distinguishes and honors schools for helping students achieve at very high levels and for making significant progress in closing the achievement gap. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the National Blue Ribbon School award winners this morning (Thursday). In releasing the names of the schools, Secretary Duncan said, "Schools honored with the Blue Ribbon Schools award are committed to achievement and to ensuring that students learn and succeed." That is certainly evident at Johnson as the school’s theme for the year is “Success, Nothing Less.” Turrentine said, “The Blue Ribbon award certainly proves that this is not just a slogan but a driving force behind the way we plan, teach, assess and re-teach at Johnson.”
The award honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools whose students achieve at very high levels or have made significant progress and helped close gaps in achievement especially among disadvantaged and minority students. Each year since 1982, the U.S. Department of Education has sought out schools where students attain and maintain high academic goals, including those that beat the odds.
Blue Ribbon Schools are chosen in two categories (see the full criteria descriptions):
- HIGH PERFORMING SCHOOLS: Schools that scored in the top 10 percent in student achievement.
- DRAMATICALLY IMPROVED SCHOOLS: Schools with at least 40 percent economically disadvantaged students that have dramatically improved student achievement to high levels.
Johnson Elementary and other winning schools from Georgia will join other national winners at an awards ceremony on November 15 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. For more information on the Blue Ribbon Schools program, click here.