Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recognized Simpson Elementary as one of the 349 schools honored as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2018 based on its overall academic excellence. In all, Georgia had 12 schools honored this year. According to the U.S. Department of Education, these schools demonstrate that all students can achieve to high levels. The 2018 cohort represents public and non-public elementary, middle and high schools, including traditional, charter, magnet schools, parochial and independent schools in 47 States, the District of Colombia and Department of Defense Education Activity schools in Fort Benning, Georgia, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Simpson Elementary, which serves 977 students, was recognized as an “Exemplary High Performing School.” According to the U.S. Department of Education this places Simpson among Georgia’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
Over the years, Simpson Elementary has earned numerous state and national honors, including being named a 2012 National Blue Ribbon School. Principal Bron Gayna Schmit says of this most recent honor, “We are thrilled to be named a 2018 Blue Ribbon School of Excellence! What a wonderful tribute to the outstanding staff, students, and parent community we have in Peachtree Corners. We are honored to be a part of a system of world-class schools in Gwinnett County!”
Simpson’s application to become a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School speaks to the many awards the school has earned as well as the high levels of community support it receives. It states, “It is refreshing in a world of unrest and discontent to find a neighborhood elementary school where parents hold their school in high regard, support the programs and staff completely, and expect excellence at all times.” The application also credits the school’s outstanding teachers, saying “Our exemplary staff has established high expectations for both academic performance and positive behavior. Our school culture embraces seven Simpson norms— honesty, respect, responsibility, cooperation, kindness, perseverance and courage.”
In a video message to honorees, Secretary DeVos acknowledged the work of teachers, saying, “We recognize and honor your important work in preparing students for successful careers and meaningful lives. Congratulations on your students’ accomplishments and for your extraordinary commitment to meeting their unique needs.”
The National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. Now in its 36th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed recognition on more than 8,800 schools.
The Department will formally recognize the 300 public and 49 private schools honored this year at an awards ceremony at the Omni Shoreham in Washington, D.C., on November 7 and 8, 2018.