Educators receive prestigious Blue Ribbon Award bestowed on Valley Mills Elementary

Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 6:07 PM CST
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VALLEY MILLS, Texas (KWTX) - Representatives from the only Central Texas school designated as a prestigious Blue Ribbon Award School by the Department of Education just returned from Washington, D.C. where they received their award.

A banquet was held in National Harbor, Maryland on November 5, just outside Washington, D.C. to recognize the 325 schools across the country chosen for either being an exemplary high-performing school or closing achievements gap in learning.

Valley Mills Elementary was chosen for bringing its TEA rating of a “D” in the 2017-2018 school year to an official rating of an “A” in the 2018-2019 school year.

The Texas Education Agency didn’t officially issue ratings in 2017-2018, but if it would have, the campus would have failed.

“It’s just great for our campus, our students, our staff and our community,” said Valley Mills ISD Superintendent Chris Dowdy.

The superintendent, along with his wife, Tessa Dowdy, the elementary school principal; and Tracy Sexton, a math interventionist whose been on the campus her entire 25-year career, traveled to the national’s capital for the event.

Superintendent Dowdy said the award is the result of a massive team effort, which included all teachers, staff, custodians, maintenance and cafeteria workers and past employees of the school.

“To earn this award from the Department of Education, it is a true reflection of the dedication and commitment from everyone involved on that campus,” the superintendent said.

Valley Mills was recognized on stage and presented with a plaque. The school will also receive a blue-ribbon flag to fly at the school.

“I commend all our Blue Ribbon honorees for working to keep students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

“In the face of unprecedented circumstances, you found creative ways to engage, care for, protect, and teach our children. Blue Ribbon Schools have so much to offer and can serve as a model for other schools and communities so that we can truly build back better.”

Valley Mills was the only Central Texas school recognized.

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