Switzerland County Elementary School officially receives Blue Ribbon award


Kristine Cohn of the U.S. Department of Education traveled to Switzerland County Elementary School last Wednesday afternoon to officially bestow the “National Blue Ribbon School” designation on the students and staff.

Her presentation was part of a large convocation for the school, and included other dignitaries and special events by the students.

After the American Flag and the Indiana State Flag were carried into the gym by Matthew Abdon and Mitchell Alford; student Kaylee Gregory, who is the vice president of the student council, led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Students Bob Tressler and Austin Clark, treasurer and parliamentarian of the student council, respectively, led the students and staff in reciting the school motto; and Dr. Elizabeth Jones, principal of the school, officially welcomed everyone.

Cynthia Griffith, the longest tenured teacher at the school, introduced guests in attendance, and also took the opportunity to talk about how proud she was of the school, the students, and her fellow teachers for achieving such a high honor.

Music teacher Tammy Beitzel led the second grade students in singing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”; and Dr. Jones then introduced Kristine Cohn.

Kristine Cohn told the students that they are now among the finest schools in the country, and that in the future when they are adults they will be able to tell others about the wonderful school that they attended.

She told the students about Benjamin Franklin, who among all of his other accomplishments, was also a school teacher. She told them that Benjamin Franklin held the belief that what a person learns is the most valuable thing that someone can possess.

Kristine Cohn then officially presented the Blue Ribbon award to Sarah Karaus, president of the student council; who accepted it on behalf of the entire school.

Fourth and fifth grade students then sang “Yankee Doodle Dandy”, and the program was closed by student council historian Breinna Welch, corresponding secretary Nicole Leap, and recording secretary Pamela Dye.

The National Blue Ribbon Award is a part of President George W. Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” educational reform movement. It is designed to change the culture of America’s schools by closing the achievement gap, offering more flexibility, giving parents more options, and teaching students based on what works.