Mendham School Wins National Award
St. Joseph School earns Blue Ribbon Award, which honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students perform at high levels.
St. Joseph School is starting the school year off in a big way. Last Friday, it was identified as a National Blue Ribbon School, an award given to only 50 private schools nationwide by the U.S. Department of Education in 2012.
“This is a true honor for St. Joseph School,” said Principal Helen Kelly. “We have always strived to perform at the highest standards, and receiving this distinction is a wonderful recognition of our efforts.”
The National Blue Ribbon Schools award honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in students’ levels of achievement. St. Joseph School, which educates children in grades Pre-K through 8, received the distinction as an “Exemplary High Performing School”.
Described by teaching experts as “the Oscar of education achievement,” the Blue Ribbon Award is rare in this region. St. Joseph School is the only Morris County School, and one of only eleven New Jersey elementary schools, to achieve Blue Ribbon status this year.
To qualify for the Blue Ribbon win, St. Joseph School needed first to demonstrate standardized test scores in the top 15 percent of the nation. Only then could the school be rigorously vetted across other criteria set forth by the Department of Education, including curriculum, teaching methods, professional development, school leadership and how the school engages its families and the local community.
According to Kelly, what distinguishes St. Joseph School from other schools is its commitment to fostering the growth of the “whole” child.
“We are graduating students who will use their education and faith to make valuable contributions to their community in the form of both service and leadership,” said Kelly. “Our Catholic identity is an integral part of our students' success intellectually, socially, and spiritually and our school community works together to raise the bar of achievement for our students.”
Carol Scott-Connolly, current St. Joseph School fourth grade teacher, has had five children attend St. Joseph School, and says the school plays an important role in her children’s success inside the classroom and out.
“Helping our students become the best people they can be is a true calling for our teachers,” said Connolly. “We are fortunate that our family had the opportunity to reap the benefits of this unique, nurturing environment.”
Kelly says this award belongs to the entire St. Joseph School family.
“It is only through the dedication and love and of our parish, faculty, parents, and students that we could have achieved this singular distinction,” Kelly said.
The U.S. Department of Education will honor 219 public and 50 private schools at a recognition ceremony on Nov. 12-13 in Washington, DC.