La Porte ISD’s Lomax Elementary School has been named as a 2011 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. The 304 campuses chosen as 2011 National Blue Ribbon Schools were selected based on their overall academic excellence or for their success in closing achievement gaps.
The Department will honor the entire 255 public and 49 private schools with their National Blue Ribbon School awards at a conference and awards ceremony Nov. 14-15 in Washington, D.C.
“To paraphrase Professor Cornell West, ‘you cannot lead the children if you do not love the children; you cannot save the children if you do not serve the children,’” said Lloyd W. Graham, La Porte ISD superintendent of schools. “The leadership, faculty and staff of La Porte ISD, and most assuredly Lomax Elementary, are clear examples of how caring, qualified, servant leaders positively impact the lives of children.”
Lomax Elementary, which was also named a 2011 Texas Exemplary School, was one of 26 campuses from Texas selected for this prestigious honor. The school was one of nine in the state honored for high student performance.
Lomax, which serves 541 students, also is the first LPISD campus to earn this honor.
“We are extremely proud of the faculty and staff at Lomax Elementary School and their leader, Vickie Gentile,” said Isela Montes, LPISD executive director of elementary education. “There was a concerted effort and focus on excellence throughout the entire year, and they never lost sight of the number one reason they are there—it’s for the kids.”
Following Lomax Elementary School’s nomination for the honor by Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott, former Lomax Principal Vickie Gentile led the application process for 2011 National Blue Ribbon School consideration. Gentile, who served as principal at Lomax Elementary from 2008 to 2011, now serves as principal at LPISD’s Bayshore Elementary School.
“I am so proud to have been a part of the Lomax Elementary School staff,” Gentile said. “Lomax Elementary is characterized by hard-working students, parents, teachers and staff members. It is a prime example of a neighborhood school--everyone is involved in its success.”
“America’s long-term economic prosperity and civic engagement depends on our children receiving a world-class education,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “National Blue Ribbon Schools are committed to accelerating student achievement and preparing students for success in college and careers. Their success is an example for others to follow.”
The National Blue Ribbon School award honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students achieve at high levels or where the achievement gap is narrowing. Since 1982, more than 6,500 of America’s schools have received this coveted award.
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, honors public and private schools based on one of two criteria: 1) Schools whose students are high performing. These are schools ranked among each state’s highest performing schools as measured by their performance on state assessments or, in the case of private schools, that score at the highest performance level on nationally normed tests; or 2) Schools with at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that improve student performance to high levels as measured by the school’s performance on state assessments or nationally-normed tests.
Before selecting National Blue Ribbon Schools, the Department asks for nominations from the top education official in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense Education Activity and the Bureau of Indian Education. The Council for American Private Education (CAPE) nominates private schools. A total of 413 schools nationwide are nominated, based on the number of K-12 students and the number of schools in each jurisdiction. The schools are invited by the Secretary of Education to submit an application for possible recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School.