Home Outdoor education Graveraet Elementary named National Blue Ribbon School by US Secretary of Education

Graveraet Elementary named National Blue Ribbon School by US Secretary of Education

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) – A school on the Upper Peninsula has received national recognition from the United States Secretary of Education.

On Wednesday at Graveraet primary school in Marquette, the blue water from the outdoor fountains and the blue ribbons on the doors greeted the students and staff. Both were symbols of the school‘s status as a 2021 Blue Ribbon National School.

US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona awarded the honor to 325 schools for their “exemplary high performance”. Graveraet was one of 13 schools in Michigan, as well as the only UP school to ever receive the title.

“This is our eighth year as a school, and this award was based on six years of student growth data,” said Graveraet principal Dr. Sarah Kemppainen. “It’s awesome.”

Kemppainen thanks dedicated staff members like Anne Girard, Grade 3 teacher, for making Graveraet an exceptional school.

“When we say all kids can learn, we absolutely mean it,” Girard said, “but we want to make sure all of our students believe it too. When they believe in themselves, we see really great things happening.

It’s not just academics who make Graveraet special. Dr Kemppainen says the school focuses on the child as a whole, both through its social and emotional learning program and by building strong relationships with students.

“Where we know this is our first job and our responsibility to develop our students academically, we also focus on their social and emotional growth,” said Dr Kemppainen. “When students feel safe in school, they can grow and challenge themselves. This award is truly representative of that.

To accept the honor, Dr. Kemppainen and a member of staff will attend an awards ceremony in Washington, DC on November 4-5.

Official certification from the United States Department of Education. Photo courtesy of Graveraet Elementary.(WLUC)

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