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U.S. Department of Education Selects Three DoDEA Schools for 2015 National Blue Ribbon School Award

By Frank O'Gara
U.S. Department of Education Selects Three DoDEA Schools  for 2015 National Blue Ribbon School Award

ALEXANDRIA, VA. – Three Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Schools were recognized on 29 September by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as 2015 National Blue Ribbon Schools.
Osan Middle School in Korea, Wiesbaden Middle School in Germany and Bowley Elementary School at Fort Bragg, N.C. received the honor. The Blue Ribbon Schools Program annually recognizes approximately 300 public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students are performing at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in student achievement levels.
"The National Blue Ribbon Award celebrates the hard work of the principals, teachers, parents, students, and school staff at Osan Middle, Wiesbaden Middle and Bowley Elementary Schools,” said Thomas M. Brady, DoDEA Director. "High standards, dedication, and community involvement and support led to this honor and on behalf of everyone in the DoDEA school system, I would like to congratulate everyone associated with these schools for pursuing academic excellence."
Schools are recognized in one of two categories: “Exemplary High Performing,” which are those among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests; or “Exemplary Improving,” which are those schools that have at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds who demonstrate the most progress in improving student achievement levels as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests. All of the DoDEA schools will be recognized as “Exemplary High Performing” schools.
The principals of Osan Middle, Wiesbaden Middle, and Bowley Elementary attribute their Blue Ribbon recognition to collaboration, a commitment to excellence, and community support.
“This honor acknowledges the commitment level of the administration; teachers; students and staff; PTA; parent volunteers; and our military and community partners that is evident daily in the Bowley Bobcat Den,” said Dr. Diane Brown, principal of Bowley Elementary School. “This award is a reflection of the ongoing collaboration and support of our stakeholders which has resulted in an exceptional learning environment and school culture.”
“Wiesbaden Middle School's accomplishments reflect the values of all military families; love of family, love of country, and pride in self and service,” said Dr. Susan Hargis, Principal of Wiesbaden Middle School. “Our school and the Wiesbaden community have created a collaborative learning culture where teachers and students are able to perform their best because of the trust and care they feel as part of our school. We strive daily to live up to the high standards of the U.S. military and its example of excellence in all things we do."
“Osan Middle School prides itself on learning in a safe environment, where teachers set high expectations that engage and motivate each student to achieve those expectations,” said Dr. Legena Roberts-Kpinkpin, Principal of Osan Middle School.
To select National Blue Ribbon Schools, the Department of Education requests nominations from the top education official in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, DoDEA, and the Bureau of Indian Education. The Council for American Private Education nominates private schools. The Secretary of Education invites nominated schools to submit an application for possible recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School.
DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education programs for school-age children of Department of Defense personnel who would otherwise not have access to high-quality public education. DoDEA schools are located in Europe, the Pacific, Western Asia, the Middle East, Cuba, the United States, Guam, and Puerto Rico. DoDEA also provides support and resources to Local Educational Agencies throughout the United States that serve children of military families.

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