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By Andrew Cluley Communications Specialist
Angell and Wines Elementary brought home their 2015 National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards with celebration assemblies. The events provided a way for students, staff, and the entire Ann Arbor community to celebrate the accomplishment and push for even greater achievement in the future. The assemblies also served as premieres for videos highlighting receiving the Blue Ribbon designation in Washington D.C.
School Board President Deb Mexicotte told Angell and Wines students that the entire community is proud of them for the blue ribbon school recognition, but emphasized we have already been proud of them for what they do everyday. “We know everyday you get up and do your best, help your friend that’s feeling down, take something to the office, or pick up a piece of paper left on the playground,” Mexicotte says.
Superintendent Jeanice Swift emphasized that teachers and the rest of the staff in both buildings didn’t do the work to get an award, but rather were focused on children. She says it’s great though that along the way the hard work has been recognized with a 2015 National Blue Ribbon School. She says along with the award comes the responsibility to be something special and encourage and support other schools.
Swift encouraged students at both schools to be blue. “You work a little harder, stand a little taller, recognize those that helped you, and also reach back and help others along their way,” was how Swift defined being blue.
In addition to Ann Arbor Public Schools staff, the events attracted dignitaries from across the region. U-S Representative Debbie Dingell told students at Angell Elementary how proud she was to get to brag about them on the floor of Congress. State Representatives Adam Zemke and Jeff Irwin presented both schools with resolutions in honor of the Blue Ribbon designations. Students at both schools were also excited to see Mayor Christopher Taylor. He says getting to enjoy the wonderful accomplishments of others like Blue Ribbon winning schools helps make his job easier. “It’s just a giant bucket of awesome all that you accomplished,” Taylor says.
Staff at both schools highlighted the important work of not just their current colleagues, but also everyone who has worked in their building in the past. Angell teacher Tom Yaeger says, “It’s always been about kids and achievement, and that’s why we’re here celebrating today.”