BCS Advantage Magazine Winter 2017 - Page 10

Committed to Excellence: National Blue Ribbon Award is Pisgah’s Pride By Stacia Harris, Communications Department “Pisgah is the most fabuloso school and I’m going to tell you why.” This is how 4th grader Addison begins her essay explaining why she thinks Pisgah Elementary deserves to be named a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School. She goes on to say the things she loves about Pisgah include “good cookies” and “galaxy pizza” at lunch (which are small, round pizzas shaped like planets). She also thinks the teachers and staff are “really nice.” This year, Pisgah is one of only 8 schools in North Carolina and 316 in the nation to receive this honor. Pisgah joins two other Buncombe County Schools that have earned the distinction since the program began in 1982. (Emma Elementary earned the title in 2001 and A.C. Reynolds High in 2002). Principal Jeanann Yates took the helm at Pisgah this year. “Schools are selected based on excellence in leadership, teaching, curriculum, student achievement, and parent involvement,” Yates says. “Pisgah is among a very small percentage of schools that have received this prestigious award!” Pisgah held a community celebration in December to allow parents and stakeholders to be a part of this rare honor. As part of the program, students at Pisgah wrote essays explaining why they thought their school deserved this distinction. 8 4th grader Jordyn says, “Pisgah is an awesome school to go to because of our clean grounds, our clubs, activities, and our clean building!” Ava, a 4th grader, says “the teachers here make us work hard. The teachers teach us good things, and teach us what we need to know.” Though new to the school, Principal Yates says she could immediately see why the school earned Blue Ribbon status. “I have seen- first hand -the commitment and love that this staff has for our students. I’ve seen their tremendous expertise in teaching, unwavering expectations, and their desire to excel in everything that they do.” Pisgah continues to focus on high student achievement and closing achievement gaps. Their students are able to participate in unique and enriching clubs like “Trout Club”- where they are raising their own fish - and Destination Imagination, which promotes teaching 21st century skills and STEM (Science, Technology,