On the Senate floor this week, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown recognized and congratulated the 16 Ohio schools that were awarded with the ‘Blue Ribbon School’ distinction by the U.S. Department of Education. This year, the 16 Ohio schools awarded the Blue Ribbon distinction were among the 349 schools across the country that received this award. This honor recognizes the hard work of students, teachers and parents in communities across Ohio working to make these schools a success.

Ohio schools honored as ‘Blue Ribbon Schools’ include: Bath Elementary School, Bluffton Elementary School, Brecksville-Broadview Heights Middle School, Central Elementary School, Hazel Harvey Elementary School, Indian Riffle Elementary School, John Foster Dulles Elementary School, Mansfield Spanish Immersion School, Maplewood Elementary School, Mariemont Elementary School, Mother Teresa Catholic Elementary School, Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin School, Oakwood Elementary School, Saint Andrew-Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School, Stadium Drive Elementary School, and Twin Oak Elementary School.

In his floor statement, Senator Brown used a hometown school as an example to share. He stated,

“One school that was honored this year is particularly close to my heart – Mansfield Spanish Immersion School, which sits on Euclid Avenue, at the site of my old primary school, Brinkerhoff Elementary.

The school reopened as a public magnet school a decade ago, with a class of 11 kindergarteners, under the leadership of Jody Nash.

Over the past ten years, under Principal Nash and now under current Principal Gabe Costa, the school has grown to more than 250 students across nine grades – last year, the school expanded to add 7th and 8th grade for the first time, and added a third section of kindergarteners.

Core subjects are taught in Spanish, helping Richland County students learn a second language from a young age.

And these students don’t just excel at Spanish – the school is consistently ranked a top school in the state and has gotten high marks for serving students from diverse backgrounds.

Two years ago, it was one of just two schools in Ohio and 100 across the country to receive a National Title 1 Distinguished School Award, for making progress in closing the achievement gap between disadvantaged students and their peers.

Awards like this mean so much to a community, and they’re a reminder that academic excellence isn’t limited to exclusive private schools or wealthy communities on the coasts.

Too many people in this town want to call us the Rust Belt – that outdated, offensive term that demeans our workers and devalues our work.

And it devalues the incredible work schools like these are doing in our state, preparing our students for the global economy of the future. These schools aren’t rusty – they’re thriving.

Congratulations to all of this year’s Ohio Blue Ribbon Schools.

You are all examples to our state and to the country, and you have so much to be proud of.”

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