Special to The Dallas Examiner
The U.S. Department of Education awards Blue Ribbon recognition to schools where students perform at very high levels or where exemplary progress is being made toward closing achievement gaps.
This year, three Dallas ISD schools have earned the National Blue Ribbon School award – Henry W. Longfellow Career Exploration Academy, Dr. Wright L. Lassiter Early College High School and Edward Titche Elementary School.
After constantly being rated as one of the state’s lowest-performing campuses and facing closure in 2017 if it didn’t meet state standards, Titche Elementary underwent a tremendous transformation as part of the Accelerating Campus Excellence Initiative, which incentives high-performing teachers and campus leaders to voluntarily work at low-performing schools.
Damien Stovall, who served as principal of Titche Elementary until becoming a Dallas ISD executive director this school year, said he is still in disbelief about the Blue Ribbon nomination.
He and current principal Jazmune Jenkins shared a joint statement congratulating the students, parents, staff and community on the incredible accomplishment.
“They truly deserve all the recognition, accolades and more. They are proof of what can happen when everyone believes and works towards the same goal,” Jenkins and Stovall said. “With resilience and grit, staff continue to overcome the many barriers and obstacles and are the epitome of equity in action. It is amazing and unbelievable what has happened and continues to happen at Edward Titche. While it hasn’t been easy, it’s always worth it. This honorable mention is just one example of that.”
Lassiter ECHS earned its second Blue Ribbon nomination in six years. Principal Michael St. Ama said the Blue Ribbon nomination is a testament to the school’s culture and community support.
“This group of students is so motivated to work hard and be successful, I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. “We push our teaching and our focus to ensure our students achieve on the highest level.”
This is also the second Blue Ribbon recognition for Longfellow Elementary, having earned its first one in 2014.
Former Longfellow principal and now executive director at Dallas ISD, Lorena Hernandez, said the school promotes student leadership at every opportunity.
“We are building leaders, not just students who excel at academics,” Hernandez said. “And this Blue Ribbon recognition lets our students, teachers, and families know that our commitment to excellence has paid off.”