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Westmere a Blue Ribbon pick

Westmere Elementary School was named to a prestigious list of schools for its scholastic achievements.

On Friday, Sept. 12, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings named Westmere a 2008 No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School, according to school officials.

We are thrilled to have been recognized with this honor, said Principal Deborah Drumm. "This award is truly a symbol of our community and of all the hard work that our dedicated staff members, students and parents put in together each and every day to make our school a successful place."

She added that the application process was extensive, and if not for the teamwork of the school's staff, they never would have been able to apply.

"We are a collaborative team. We make decisions about students collaboratively; we make decisions about the curriculum corroboratively," she added.

The award honors schools for closing the achievement gap and helping students achieve at high levels, according to a written statement provided by the district.

Westmere is one of 20 schools throughout the state and 320 schools in the country to be recognized with this designation.

"The No Child Left Behind-Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools that are either academically superior or that demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement to high levels," according to the program's Web site.

The winners will be honored at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., Oct. 20-21, according to the Web site.

"These Blue Ribbon Schools are an example of what teachers and students can achieve," U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings said in a written statement. "Now our challenge is to help other schools follow their lead by continuing to measure progress through No Child Left Behind, and by using the knowledge we've gained to replicate effective strategies and help every student improve."

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