It was a big day at O’Gorman Jr High. It was recently named a National Blue Ribbon school; the highest award a school can receive from the U.S. Department of Education.
Tuesday students, staff and parents got together to celebrate.
They are drumming up success at O’Gorman Jr High, both in the classroom and in the community.
It’s one of only 400 schools in the country to be named a Blue Ribbon School.
Bishop Paul Swain was one of the keynote speakers during a special assembly to recognize all their hard work.
“It’s also a recognition of the quality of education that’s being offered both here academically and spiritually to prepare the leaders of tomorrow to become worthy citizens,” Bishop Swain said.
O’Gorman had to submit an application to the U. S. Department of Education, but staff say this honor is about more than test scores.
“We talk about service in our program and what our teachers do on a daily basis and kind of what they do that sets them apart it’s a pretty extensive application process and it’s a combination of a lot of different things,” Principal Wade Charron said.
To go along with their academic achievements, students also put in over 5,000 hours of community service.
“You can do anything from altar serving to picking up around town or helping out cooking dinner for your family,” eighth grader Maddie Fritz said.
Whatever they’re doing, they’re apparently doing it right.
“It’s great to be honored in this way but it’s a by-product of what we do each and every day,” Charron said.
To help them celebrate the Bishop bought the entire school pizza.
St. Mary Elementary School and St. Katharine Drexel Elementary School were also named National Blue Ribbon School status for 2019.
In the public sector, Sioux Falls’ Challenge Center, Corsica-Stickney Elementary and Dell Rapids Elementary all took home the high honor this year.