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Holtville High named National Blue Ribbon School

Published 9:14am Thursday, September 26, 2013

Holtville High School broke new ground for Elmore County public schools Wednesday. The school in the heart of the close-knit Slapout community was recognized as a 2013 National Blue Ribbon School.

“Obviously we’re thrilled,” said Dr. Jimmy Hull, HHS principal. “This recognition is a testament to the hard work of our teachers, students and parents.

“It takes everybody to have a successful school. We have a lot of support here in our community.”

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the 286 schools selected for the honor. Holtville High was one of only six Alabama schools recognized.

It is the first time an Elmore County public school has been named as a Blue Ribbon School.

The program recognizes schools in one of two performance categories – Exemplary High Performing or Exemplary Improving. In the first category, schools are recognized among their state’s highest performing schools, as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests.

In the second category, schools that have at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds and demonstrate the most progress in improving student achievement levels as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests are recognized.

“If your free and reduced lunch count is 40 percent or higher, but you still main high performance in academics over time, that’s what considered,” said Hull. “It’s continuing to have high achievement even though some students are at a financial disadvantage.”

Hull will attend a recognition ceremony Nov. 18-19 in Washington, D.C. on behalf of his school.

“I’m really looking forward to the trip to Washington and to the rest of the process,” he said.

“This is recognition not only for what we’ve done here at Holtville High, but what’s done in our elementary and middle schools to prepare the students and have them ready when they get here. What the central office does matters. The stability of our faculty matters. A lot of people were involved in making this happen. This is a landmark achievement for our school.”

Elmore County Superintendent of Education Dr. Jeff Langham said he is also proud of Holtville High’s singular accomplishment.

“On behalf of our entire school system, we salute Holtville High for its outstanding and historic achievement,” he said. “Bravo to Dr. Hull and his dynamic Holtville High family for achieving this coveted honor. This recognition spotlights years of consistent excellence at the school.”

The National Blue Ribbon Schools award honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in students’ levels of achievement.

To select National Blue Ribbon Schools, the Department requested nominations from the top education official in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense Education Activity and the Bureau of Indian Education. The Council for American Private Education (CAPE) nominates private schools.

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