TUPELO – The Tupelo Public School District received a national honor Tuesday when Rankin Elementary was named a 2009 Blue Ribbon school
It is the second Blue Ribbon for Rankin, which also received the distinction in 2000-01, and the seventh for the district. The award was announced by U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
“It is special because it is a national recognition,” said Glenda Scott, who was principal at Rankin for the last seven years before becoming principal at Joyner Elementary this year.
Rankin is one of four schools in Mississippi to be named Blue Ribbon schools this year, joining Center Hill Elementary in Olive Branch, D’Iberville Elementary in Harrison County and Long Beach Middle School.
Nationally, 314 schools were honored this year, including 264 public schools. Scott will travel to Washington, D.C., for an awards ceremony Nov. 3.
“To be one of only four schools in Mississippi to receive the award is a huge honor,” said Randy McCoy, who served as TPSD superintendent until this year and helped work on Rankin’s application for the award.
The Blue Ribbon program recognizes schools that meet either of two criteria: At least 40 percent of their students are from disadvantaged backgrounds and the school has dramatically improved student performance in state assessments, or the school scores in the top 10 percent on state assessments.
Rankin actually met both criteria.
Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal