Posted: Thursday, September 28, 2017

Skyland Elementary Wins National Blue Ribbon Award

National Blue Ribbon LogoU.S. Department of Education Honors 342 Schools Nationwide

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today recognized 342 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2017. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

Greenville County Schools’ Skyland Elementary in Greer is a proud recipient of a 2017 National Blue Ribbon Award. “At Skyland, we are passionate about teaching, learning, and serving our children,” said Principal Dr. Carolyn Styles.  “Likewise, we are committed to the highest standards of excellence.  We believe that no barrier should separate a child from the best education that a school can offer.  Therefore, we take great strides to reach all of our unique learners by providing instruction that is engaging, meaningful, and student-centered.”

Skyland Elementary Wins National Blue Ribbon Award - Photo 1“I want to extend my appreciation to Dr. Styles for her leadership, the faculty and staff for their hard work and commitment, all of the students for their dedication and the support of the entire Skyland Community. It takes all of those things coming together to make a truly great school,” said Greenville County Schools Superintendent Dr. Burke Royster.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap.

“National Blue Ribbon Schools are active demonstrations of preparing every child for a bright future,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to the honorees. “You are visionaries, innovators and leaders. You have much to teach us: some of you personalize student learning, others engage parents and communities in the work and life of your local schools and still others develop strong and forward-thinking leaders from among your teaching staff.”

Skyland Elementary Wins National Blue Ribbon Award - Photo 2This coveted award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. 

All schools are honored in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates:

  • Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
  • Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students over the past five years.

“Although today is a wonderful celebration which we will always remember, it is important to know that student success is acknowledged and rewarded every day at Skyland!  Students are at the heart of everything we do!  I feel extremely humbled and honored to serve as the leader in such a wonderful school and community,” Styles said.

Now in its 35th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed recognition on more than 8,500 schools. On Nov. 6-7, the Secretary and the Department of Education will celebrate with these honorees at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

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