Gower Middle earns Blue Ribbon honor
Updated: October 21, 2012 1:54PM
Gower Middle School in Burr Ridge has earned the Blue Ribbon Schools award for overall excellence from the U. S. Department of Education.
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made the announcement Friday.
The Illinois State Board of Education nominated the school for the award because of its strong record of student achievement. Gower Middle is one of 219 public elementary, middle and high schools across the country to earn this prestigious award.
“Schools honored with the National Blue Ribbon Schools award are committed to accelerating student achievement and preparing students for success in college and careers. Their work reflects the conviction that every child has promise and that education is the surest pathway to a strong, secure future,” Duncan said.
School Board President Ryan Asmus proudly said the entire Gower community celebrates this accomplishment.
“Earning a Blue Ribbon validates that the efforts of the staff and the board are paying real dividends for Gower students. Our emphasis on high expectations, professional development, and strong school leadership teams translates into better teaching and learning,” Asmus said.
Gower Middle serves 440 students in fifth through eighth grades who live largely in Burr Ridge and Willowbrook. Over the past five years, overall ISAT performance improved. In 2012, 97.7 percent of all tested students met or exceeded Illinois standards.
Former Gower Principal Rebecca Laratta, now assistant superintendent, noted that the award was only possible because teachers worked collaboratively, implementing new programs to integrate reading strategies across curriculums and providing challenging, “just right” learning for all students.
“Our success is built on the shoulders of our staff and school leadership team,” she said.
Representatives from Gower Middle will travel to Washington, D. C. for the awards ceremony on Nov. 12. ~.