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Festus Elementary School Named 2020 National Blue Ribbon School Award Winner


Today, the U.S. Department of Education named Festus Elementary School a National Blue Ribbon School.  This is the third time since 1999 that Festus Elementary has earned the honor, a first for a Missouri school.  “The National Blue Ribbon School Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools based on their overall academic excellence and their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups,” said Dr. Nicki Ruess, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning.  “Being recognized, once again, as a National Blue Ribbon School affirms the continuous hard work of our students, educators, families, and community.”


One criterion for eligibility for the Blue Ribbon Award is scoring in the top 15% within the state on Reading/ELA and Math state assessments.  "Designation as a Blue Ribbon School is a testament to the daily, consistent approach that all staff members take to ensure that students are successful,” said Superintendent Dr. Link Luttrell.  “High Student Achievement does NOT happen solely by chance but takes a myriad of stakeholders all working together towards accomplishing identified goals aimed at individual student success."


Last month, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education named Festus Elementary a Missouri Gold Star School.  Being named a Gold Star School is often a precursor to being awarded the Blue Ribbon School designation.  This is the third time Festus Elementary has been named a Gold Star/Blue Ribbon School.  The previous two times were in 1999 and in 2014.  “The Honor of being named a Missouri Gold Star School and a National Blue Ribbon School for the 3rd time is very humbling,” said principal Dr. Darin Siefert.  “It is possible because of the tireless work of teachers, staff, and administrators to ensure that all students are succeeding at high levels, no matter their individual circumstances.  It also would not be possible without the support of great parents, families, community members and most importantly the students themselves!”


Festus Elementary is the first school in the state of Missouri to be named a Blue Ribbon School three times.  Luttrell adds, “It speaks volumes to what we already know – Festus Elementary School is a great place to learn!'