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Thursday, April 24, 2014
Fifth-graders Jade Jacques, left, and Justice Byrd were hard at work on Sept. 25, ensuring that the school keeps up its tradition of academic excellence.
School News
Shaw Avenue earns national honor
District 30 school is Valley Stream’s first Blue Ribbon Award winner
Andrew Hackmack/Herald
Students and staff at Shaw Avenue School dressed in their new favorite color following the announcement that the school earned a Blue Ribbon Award from the United States Department of Education.

When is it good to feel blue? When your school wins the Blue Ribbon excellence award from the U.S. Department of Education.

Students and staff at Shaw Avenue School wore their feelings on their sleeves after it was announced that the District 30 elementary school had won the coveted honor. School administrators found out on Sept. 24, and the following day, most of the 750-plus children and adults who call the school their daytime home came clad in blue.

Shaw Avenue is the first school in Valley Stream to receive the Blue Ribbon Award, which recognizes public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in their academic achievement.

“I’m elated,” said Principal Amy Pernick. “I think it’s validation of everything we knew about the school.”

Pernick, who is in her first year as principal after five years as assistant principal, was joined by administrators and board members as they watched U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s press conference live in a sixth-grade classroom. It ended without an announcement of the winning schools, but moments later, Pernick got an email confirming what many District 30 officials already suspected.

Superintendent Dr. Nicholas Stirling said the award is a tribute to everyone in the school community, from the staff to the parents to the crossing guards. “Everyone’s part is significant, no matter how small or large,” Stirling said. “Everyone has got to make a contribution in order for the system to work.”

He added that while the award went to Shaw Avenue, it is an honor for the entire district. Stirling credited District 30’s strong curriculum, high expectations for students and the hard work of the staff to do what is best for the district’s children.

The school was nominated for the award last November, largely because of its impressive results on the 2012 state tests. Ten months later, Shaw Avenue became one of only four Long Island schools to earn the Blue Ribbon designation this year.

School board President Carolyn Torres said she was not surprised. “Personally, I knew we were going to get it,” she said. “Shaw Avenue is an excellent school.”

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