Challenge Center staff and students excited to be National Blue Ribbon School


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A specialized school in Sioux Falls is being recognized nationally as a 2019 Blue Ribbon School. The Challenge Center at Robert Frost is taking home the honor for the first time since 2004.

When Molly Abels was going to class at John Harris, her instructors realized she was a gifted student.

“My teacher gave me special papers because the other ones were too easy and then she got special games for me to play,” Abels said.

Abels and all the other kids in grades 2-5 at the Challenge Center were sent here to be, well, challenged.

“We teach above grade-level standards, specifically in math. Then in English, language arts, science and social studies, we really strive for that rigor, that depth. Really talking and discussing complex ideas that can be applied to real life,” Brower said.

4th grade teacher Millie Brower says the center’s staff and roughly 150 students are being honored as a National Blue Ribbon School because of the teaching philosophy here and the kids’ high test scores. Brower and a co-worker will accept the award for the school in November in Washington, D.C.

“It will be exciting to represent the Challenge Center and all that hard work that we do each and every day,” Brower said.

5th grader Brandon Aamold strives to be a pro basketball player but his backup plan is to be a lawyer. He thinks his time here at the Challenge Center will be give him a good start.

“This is a really good school and the teachers are nice. They push you. This stuff challenges you and it’s just fun,” Aamold said.

The Challenge Center is currently planning a celebration for its staff and families in November.

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