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2011 Awards Ceremony

High enthusiasm marked the 29th annual U.S. Department of Education recognition ceremony for National Blue Ribbon Schools. School representatives whirled, capered, and boogied their way across the stage to accept their award plaques from the beaming program director Aba Kumi.

Aba Kumi, NBRS program director, USDE Photo: Paul Wood

More than 700 principals, teachers, and supporters from 315 exemplary public and private schools attended the ceremony, held in Washington, DC on November 14-15, 2011.

US Secretary of Education Addresses the 2011 National Blue Ribbon Schools. Photo: Paul Wood

In addition to addresses by the 2011 Teacher of the Year Michelle Shearer, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Special Assistant to the White House Domestic Policy Steve Robinson, and a panel discussion by leaders of the national associations for elementary, middle, and secondary school principals, attendees took part in networking and interactive sessions on:

  • Leveraging the National Blue Ribbon School award to benefit schools and communities;
  • Preparing for common core standards;
  • Creating a voice for educators in school improvement and policy;
  • Measuring student achievement;
  • Engaging families and communities in the education dialogue;
  • and Building a community of National Blue Ribbon Schools through social media.

Session facilitators included Washington Teaching Ambassador Fellows and U.S. Department of Education personnel.

Seven principals were honored with the Terrel H. Bell Award for Outstanding School Leadership, named for the second Secretary of Education, Terrel H. Bell, who founded the Blue Ribbon Schools program in 1982.

2011 Bell Award winners, left to right: Deirdre Gardner, Piedmont Open Middle School, Charlotte, NC, Karen Daugherty, Rose Tree Elementary School, Media, PA, Traci Jackson, Shirley Hills Elementary School, Warner Robins, GA, Lauren Kinney, Sundance Elementary School, Beaumont, CA, Karen Noble, Hillcrest Elementary School, Nederland, TX, Nichole Heyen, Lincoln Magnet School, Springfield, IL, Jack Spatola, Beacon School of Excellence, PS 172, Brooklyn, NY. Photo: Paul Wood

Read ideas generated by National Blue Ribbon Schools for leveraging the award. [PDF]

Read summaries of the roundtable sessions. [PDF]