Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Recognizing excellence

Today was a big day at Novi Woods Elementary School. Today Novi Woods publicly celebrated their National Blue Ribbon Award. There are over 98,800 public schools in the United States. This year just over 300 were recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools.

The National Blue Ribbon process is rigorous. The Michigan Department of Education nominated deserving schools. The schools then had to complete a lengthy application, highlighting a variety of criteria including information on class size and demographics and staff development and school improvement plans.

After months of keeping things quiet, today was the day to celebrate. Choirs sang. Classrooms were highlighted. Novi's Mayor brought his congratulatory message. Retired staff returned to join in the festivities. It was a fun morning!

But the best part of the day, for me, happened in Mr. Kenrick's second grade class during read-to-self time. There were people all over the building. People were coming and going, in and out of every classroom. Yet teachers - like Mr. Kenrick - continued to steal any moment they could to teach.

What makes a school a Blue Ribbon School?

It's the people. People make the school. The teachers, the cooks, the secretaries, the parapros, the principal, the students, the parents.

A National Blue Ribbon School is made up of people who are committed to ensuring that students learn and that students know they are cared for.

And that happens every day! It happens at Novi Woods. But it also happens in every other Novi school.

This picture symbolizes for me what goes on in Novi Woods and across our district every day. Students learn. Teachers teach. Students connect in powerful ways to caring and committed adults.

Novi Woods staff and students would agree - it is nice to be recognized. But what is even better is that students in Novi will be taught and cared for tomorrow and the next day and the day after that in equally powerful ways.

It happens at Novi Woods. But it also happens in every other Novi school as well. I have seen it. I have experienced it. It happens because we have great people in every building in our district. 

That's true excellence! That's being a Blue Ribbon School!


  1. Thanks for sharing Dr. Matthews! It's great news for Novi Woods but it's even better knowing that excellence is being taught in every class in every school in Novi! Congrats to you!

  2. This is great. Hope to celebrate the other elementary schools getting the same honor. :-)

  3. Congratulations to Novi Woods Elementary staff, students, and families!! The Parkview staff is so proud of your hard work and level of excellence.

    Mr. Ascher, It is an honor to work side- by- side with an individual who is dedicated, knowledgeable, and passionate about leading in a way that truly makes a significant impact on students. Way to go, Novi Woods!

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