Flemington Elementary School receives Blue Ribbon honors

FLEMINGTON—Every year, schools across the country are recognized for their outstanding efforts in performance. One local elementary school received one of three honors in the state.

On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recognized three West Virginia schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2017. The recognition is based on a school’s overall performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

This year, 342 schools across the country were recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools. Locally, Flemington Elementary School is recognized for their excellence in academics

Since its induction in 1982, The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program seeks out and celebrates schools across the country. These are schools that demonstrate that all students can achieve to high levels.

More than 8,500 schools across the country have received this coveted award.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, The National Blue Ribbon School award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content.

Flemington Elementary is a small school with big expectations. Nestled in the hills of West Virginia, it is indeed “Almost Heaven”, as the school is located on one of those beautiful country roads that John Denver made famous.

The building was built in 1939, and only holds 130 students in preschool through fourth grade. For most students, it is still the most beautiful, exciting and caring place in the world.

According to Principal Jeanne Gren, the school remains at the center of the community. Many of the current students and staff’s parents and grandparents went to this school as a child.

“Their trust, support and involvement are an important part of our success,” expressed Gren. “Several of our teachers went to this school as a child, and remain dedicated to this community.”

Their knowledge, experience and ambitious instruction have been crucial to the school's success, according to Gren. In 2016, the school was named a West Virginia School of Excellence and a National Title I Distinguished School.

Gren shared that typically there is only one class per grade level. This forces an unusually high level of accountability. When students go into the next grade, the teacher knows where they came from.

Teachers feel responsible to move their students as far as they can each year. They share challenges, successes and strategies at lunch or recess, she explained.

“The history, location and size of our school have encouraged the development of a strong culture. Expressed in our belief statements, we are family. We help each other learn and grow. With hard work anything is possible,” she said.

On Friday, the school celebrated their achievement with a blue ribbon fancy manners lunch.

Delegate Amy Summers, was in attendance at the lunch, “Congratulations, I am so proud of all of you. I can tell each and every one of you are special. Keep working hard.”

Summers revealed that third and fourth-grade students will be taking a field trip to the State Capital, where they will take a tour. The students will also have the opportunity to tour Summers’ office.

Superintendent Kathy Green said, “ I am so proud this has been a combined effort from teachers, administrators, aides, cooks, custodians, students, parents and the community. Gren always says there is success when you work hard, I truly believe that.”

Justin Ray, Regional Coordinator for Senator Joe Manchin, spoke to the students, staff and guests.

He read a letter from Senator Machin, “ It is my honor to congratulate Flemington Elementary School. I appreciate the teachers and the parents. You all are bright students.”

Ray recited, “In our state, we have countless opportunities to work and achieve. But the best thing about our state is the people. We are entrusting you to continue this legacy and I know you will succeed.”

Gren concluded the lunch, “I am so proud of you. We are family and we help each other. I am honored and grateful, good job everyone.”

Congratulations Flemington Elementary School on your recent Blue Ribbon honors and thank you for providing outstanding education to students in Taylor County.


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