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SRVUSD celebrates four National Blue Ribbon School awards

Coyote Creek, Gale Ranch, Iron Horse and Windemere Ranch honored at ceremony in D.C.

Educators and administrators from the four SRVUSD schools receiving a Blue Ribbon School designation during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. this fall. (Image courtesy SRVUSD)

Four schools at the San Ramon Valley Unified School District have formally received their awards for a national designation aimed at recognizing high-performing schools as exemplars for education across the country.

Gale Ranch, Iron Horse and Windemere Ranch middle schools, along with Coyote Creek Elementary School, were among the 298 public and private schools throughout the United States to earn the National Blue Ribbon School designation by the U.S. Department of Education in September. The federal agency honored delegates from the winning school at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. earlier this month.

Windemere Ranch principal Sharon Baltazar noted that the award was especially meaningful in the wake of challenges in education brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"A lot has happened and changed since we were last awarded a National Blue Ribbon in 2014, Baltazar said. "We have learned to adapt to the times we are in, allowing us to continue serving our students and help them meet the academic and social-emotional challenges that reflect what is happening in the world."

With four Blue Ribbon winners this year, SRVUSD had more schools awarded than any other single district in the state or the nation.

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"We are proud of our Blue Ribbon schools who go above and beyond to support our students' success," SRVUSD Superintendent John Malloy said. "These schools exemplify everything we stand for in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District because their students are effective thinkers, creators, collaborators and communicators who will most definitely make a difference in our world."

This year's ceremony marked the 39th year of the Blue Ribbon Schools program, which aims to recognize schools for high performance and achievement gap closure. In total, 29 schools from California were recognized among the 298 designees nationally.

The SRVUSD Blue Ribbon delegation visits the National Mall with the U.S. Capitol Building in the background. (Photo courtesy SRVUSD)

"As we continue to recover from the pandemic, this award validates the hard work of educators across the state on behalf of our students," said Tony Thurmond, state superintendent of public instruction. "Their commitment to meeting the academic, social, and emotional needs of all their students has helped transform the lives of students during extraordinary circumstances."

In addition to the challenges facing students, Baltazar noted that times have been tough for educators as well, making it particularly important to celebrate their successes in addressing an ever-expanding range of student needs.

"Being an educator, at this moment, requires tremendous and courageous work; and our staff has not tapped out of this demand," Baltazar continued. "Our students are better because of this caring faculty and staff, and our partnership with our students and families."

However, she emphasized that the value of work is exhibited on the ground in building community and supporting students inside and outside of the classroom, rather than just through national awards.

"We know that National Blue Ribbon titles do not define who or what our school community is; independent of these accolades, Windemere Ranch Middle School is an extraordinary learning community where students will learn to thrive," Baltazar said.

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Jeanita Lyman
Jeanita Lyman joined the Pleasanton Weekly in September 2020 and covers the Danville and San Ramon beat. She studied journalism at Skyline College and Mills College while covering the Peninsula for the San Mateo Daily Journal, after moving back to the area in 2013. Read more >>

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SRVUSD celebrates four National Blue Ribbon School awards

Coyote Creek, Gale Ranch, Iron Horse and Windemere Ranch honored at ceremony in D.C.

by / Danville San Ramon

Uploaded: Sun, Nov 20, 2022, 3:46 pm

Four schools at the San Ramon Valley Unified School District have formally received their awards for a national designation aimed at recognizing high-performing schools as exemplars for education across the country.

Gale Ranch, Iron Horse and Windemere Ranch middle schools, along with Coyote Creek Elementary School, were among the 298 public and private schools throughout the United States to earn the National Blue Ribbon School designation by the U.S. Department of Education in September. The federal agency honored delegates from the winning school at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. earlier this month.

Windemere Ranch principal Sharon Baltazar noted that the award was especially meaningful in the wake of challenges in education brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"A lot has happened and changed since we were last awarded a National Blue Ribbon in 2014, Baltazar said. "We have learned to adapt to the times we are in, allowing us to continue serving our students and help them meet the academic and social-emotional challenges that reflect what is happening in the world."

With four Blue Ribbon winners this year, SRVUSD had more schools awarded than any other single district in the state or the nation.

"We are proud of our Blue Ribbon schools who go above and beyond to support our students' success," SRVUSD Superintendent John Malloy said. "These schools exemplify everything we stand for in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District because their students are effective thinkers, creators, collaborators and communicators who will most definitely make a difference in our world."

This year's ceremony marked the 39th year of the Blue Ribbon Schools program, which aims to recognize schools for high performance and achievement gap closure. In total, 29 schools from California were recognized among the 298 designees nationally.

"As we continue to recover from the pandemic, this award validates the hard work of educators across the state on behalf of our students," said Tony Thurmond, state superintendent of public instruction. "Their commitment to meeting the academic, social, and emotional needs of all their students has helped transform the lives of students during extraordinary circumstances."

In addition to the challenges facing students, Baltazar noted that times have been tough for educators as well, making it particularly important to celebrate their successes in addressing an ever-expanding range of student needs.

"Being an educator, at this moment, requires tremendous and courageous work; and our staff has not tapped out of this demand," Baltazar continued. "Our students are better because of this caring faculty and staff, and our partnership with our students and families."

However, she emphasized that the value of work is exhibited on the ground in building community and supporting students inside and outside of the classroom, rather than just through national awards.

"We know that National Blue Ribbon titles do not define who or what our school community is; independent of these accolades, Windemere Ranch Middle School is an extraordinary learning community where students will learn to thrive," Baltazar said.

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