Community High School celebrates distinguished National Blue Ribbon award with flair

Story, photos and video by Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor

Community isn’t your run-of-the-mill high school, so nobody would expect a ho-hum celebration of a really big award.

And Community again did not disappoint.

Community was one of 13 schools in Michigan recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a 2019 National Blue Ribbon School. The Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and non-public elementary, middle, and high schools where students achieve very high learning standards.

Last month, USED honored the 362 National Blue Ribbon Schools at a recognition ceremony in Washington, D.C., where CHS representatives happily accepted the award.

Then on Tuesday, CHS students, staff and guests enjoyed a Community-style celebration filled with speeches, poetry and music, followed by lunch, a drone-captured portrait of students forming the shape of a blue ribbon,  and finally snacks and spirited dancing at Kerrytown across the street.

Principal Marci Tuzinsky thanked all who filled St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church for the first segment of the festivities.

“This is really a community celebration with a capital C and a lower case C,” she said, “because this Blue Ribbon belongs to all of us.”

Dawn Linden, assistant superintendent, Instruction & Student Support Services, noted that only extraordinary schools—just slightly more than 300 of the country’s 100,000 schools—are designated as Blue Ribbon schools every year.

“Those of us fortunate enough to be familiar with Community High School already know what a special place this is, and yet the Blue Ribbon award is rarely awarded to a high school, which further distinguishes Community High School among the very top of high schools in this nation,” she said.

In its 36-year history, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed this award on more than 8,800 of America’s public and private schools.

In the last several years, AAPS Blue Ribbon winners have included King (2014), Angell (2015) and Allen (2017) elementary schools, and Wines Middle School (2015).

Click here for more information on the National Blue Ribbon School program.

Highlights from CHS musicians’ performance of School of Rock:

Did you miss the Facebook Live coverage of the event?  Here’s a video of the full celebration, with footage of students and staff coming together to form a giant blue ribbon:

See the Community High School staff show the kids how it’s done:

And vice versa:

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