By Sarrah Peters, News Editor
On Sept. 28 the students and staff of Eura Brown Elementary School and local elected officials crowded into the cafeteria to hear an announcement from United States Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr. via YouTube. The elementary school has been awarded the honor of being a 2016 Blue Ribbon School.
“This is an enormous honor for the Eura Brown family,” said Eura Brown Principal Priscilla Yother. “Our teachers, parents, and students know that we have an extremely special school that is dedicated to seeing students reach their full potential. For the Department of Education to designate us a Blue Ribbon School validates the wonderful job our educators do.”
To qualify for this designation, schools must be nominated by the state department and then complete an application about the school’s practices.
Blue Ribbon Schools can have one of two status designations, Exemplary High Performing or Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing. Eura Brown was given Exemplary High Performing status, marking it as one of the top schools in the state.
Only 279 public schools and 50 private schools were awarded a designation throughout the nation. Eura Brown was one of only five schools honored in Alabama this year.
“To be named among this extremely high caliber list of schools nationwide is a tremendous accomplishment,” said Gadsden City Schools Superintendent Dr. Ed Miller. “Everyone in the city of Gadsden can be proud to say that we are home to a 2016 Blue Ribbon School.”
Miller, District 28 State Representative Craig Ford, Gadsden Mayor Sherman Guyton and Gadsden City District 4 Council Member Bob Echols attended the announcement and congratulated Eura Brown’s staff and students.
“I want to tell you all how proud I am just to be a part of this,” said Ford. “This is all thanks to you children and educators. The two most important resources we have are our children and our educators.”
The officials presented the teachers and support staff with their own blue ribbons. The teachers were given ribbons for their students as well.
As the students left the cafeteria the elected officials high-fived them.