Hanover Elementary Goes to Washington, DC

Hanover Recognized Nationally as a Blue Ribbon School
Wednesday Nov 20, 13
Hanover Recognized Nationally as a Blue Ribbon School

On Tuesday, November 19 Hanover Elementary Principal Jeff Olson and 4th Grade Teacher Jenny Boldt accepted the Blue Ribbon Award in Washington, DC. U.S Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke to the room of educators before Aba Kumi, the Director of the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, congratulated recipients on their award (pictured center). The awards luncheon topped off the two-day event where award recipients also attended break-out sessions and heard from key note speakers including the national superintendent and teacher of the year.

See a clip of the award presentation:

Award Announcement

If you earn a blue ribbon at the state fair, that means you have earned the highest honor for an entry in a particular category. The honor is no different when it comes to awarding a school with a blue ribbon for academic excellence. The U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan named Hanover Elementary a National Blue Ribbon School for 2013.

On September 24, Duncan made the announcement recognizing 286 schools, from around the country, as the 2013 cohort of National Blue Ribbon Schools. In its 31-year history, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed this coveted award on nearly 7,500 of America's schools.

The program recognizes schools in one of two performance categories. Hanover Elementary was one of the schools recognized in the first category as "Exemplary High Performing," in which schools are recognized among their state's highest performing schools, as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests. The second category is "Exemplary Improving," in which schools that have at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds demonstrate the most progress in improving student achievement levels as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests.

Hanover Elementary Principal Jeff Olson said it was an honor to be nominated. Olson explained, "In January (2013) we received notification from the Minnesota Department of Education that our school was nominated for the award because of our exemplary test scores. We had to submit an application to the U.S. Secretary of Education to be considered for the award. We had to write about things such as how we challenge our students, opportunities for community involvement and what makes our school unique."

In addition to Hanover Elementary, six other schools in Minnesota were awarded the title, they include: Bendix Elementary School in Annandale, Deephaven Elementary School, Delano Elementary School, Garfield Elementary School, Hanover Elementary School, Winsted Elementary School and the International Spanish Language Academy in Minnetonka. Four of the seven schools are located in Wright County.

The U.S. Department of Education will honor Hanover Elementary and the other 235 public and 50 private schools at a recognition ceremony November 18-19 in Washington, D.C. Principal Olson and teacher Jenny Boldt (who helped with writing the application) will be at the ceremony to receive the award.

Olson said the school would receive a flag to fly in front of their school (with the U.S. Flag) and an official logo to use on all correspondence from the school for the school year. Olson said they would also have some sort of a student assembly at school to recognize the honor.

"This award is a credit to our teachers and staff," Olson humbly stated. "We could not have achieved this without the support of our parents, the school district and our community."


"Excellence in education matters, and we should honor the schools that are leading the way to prepare students for success in college and careers," said Secretary Duncan. "National Blue Ribbon schools represent examples of educational excellence, and their work reflects the belief that every child in America deserves a world-class education." 

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar added, "Minnesota has a long tradition of providing high quality education that both enriches our children's lives and puts them on the road to success in today's global economy. The students and staff at Hanover Elementary have worked hard to receive this honor and make our state proud."