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Clendenin, Hawkins & Lamar earn National Blue Ribbon Award

(EL PASO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT -- Sept. 21, 2021) — Clendenin, Hawkins and Lamar elementary schools today earned a U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon – the highest award given to any school by the federal government.

The three schools are part of a select group of 325 public and private schools that were honored for learning excellence and extraordinary efforts in helping close the achievement gaps among students.

With three honorees, EPISD has the most schools receiving Blue Ribbons this year in all of Texas. A fourth EPISD schools, the former Bond Elementary, had been nominated for a Blue Ribbon but was ineligible to receive the award because the campus closed at the end of the 2020-21 school year.

“A National Blue Ribbon comes as proof that the work teachers and students are doing are not just effective, but also extraordinary,” Interim Superintendent Vince Sheffield said. “I want to congratulate the teachers and staff at Clendenin, Hawkins and Lamar for their continued commitment to education. I’d also like to thank the students at those three schools for being amazing learners.”

The Department of Education awards Blue Ribbons in two categories: Exemplary High-Performing Schools and Exemplary Achievement-Gap Closing Schools. Hawkins and Lamar won under the high-performing category, while Clendenin won in the achievement-gap closing category.

In a statement, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona today said the 2021 Blue Ribbon schools have one thing in common: a deep desire to improve the lives of children.

“This year’s cohort of honorees demonstrates what is possible when committed educators and school leaders create vibrant, welcoming, and affirming school cultures where rich teaching and learning can flourish,” Cardona said.

This is Lamar’s second Blue Ribbon award, having first won in 2015.

In total, EPISD has earned 17 Blue Ribbons at 13 different campuses since the programs inception in 1982.

Lamar joins two other EPISD campuses with multiple Blue Ribbons: Transmountain Early College High School, which won their awards in 2014 and 2020; and Silva Health Magnet High School, which has an unprecedented three Blue Ribbons (2003, 2011 and 2017).

The other EPISD Blue Ribbon schools are: Cielo Vista (2014), Coldwell (2011), Crockett (1986), Douglass (2012), Dr. Green (2017), Hillside (2011), Milam (2020) and the former Schuster (1988).  

The Department of Education will formally recognize the 2021 winning schools during an awards ceremony in November in Washington, D.C.

Story by Gustavo Reveles
Graphic by Martín A. López