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BC's Hamagrael Elementary receives national award

Bethlehem Central School District's Hamagrael Elementary School was one of 314 schools nationwide to be named a 2009 National Blue Ribbon School, the U.S. Department of Education announced Tuesday, Sept. 15.

The Blue Ribbon status is awarded to public and private schools in the top 10 percent of its state standardized in math and English standardized assessments that have been nominated by their state Department of Education.

Those of us who come to Hamagrael every day students, staff, teachers, and parents, know what a great place it is," Principal Dave Ksanznak said in a statement. "This accomplishment is a credit to every member of the Hamagrael community and BC itself."

Ksanznak will travel to Washington D.C. in Novemebr for a ceremony honoring this year's Blue Ribbon Schools with Education Secretary Ame Duncan.

Bethlehem Central Superintendent Michael Tebbano announced the award in an e-mail to BC faculty and staff.

"This national recognition, bestowed upon a school, signifies an important fact that we have always known, that our schools prepare children quite well for the future, and Hamagrael is quite deserving of this honor," wrote Tebbano.

In New York, the Commissioner of Education nominates the schools, which may then prepare an application to the U.S. Department of Education. Hamagrael learned of its nomination last year and spent much of the 2008-09 school year preparing the application, according to the district.

A recognition ceremony will likely be held with Hamagrael students when Ksanznak returns from Washington in November, a district official said.

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