VIDEO: National Blue Ribbon Celebration

  • W.A. Bess Elementary celebrates its second National Blue Ribbon School title

    Earning the National Blue Ribbon School distinction is something to take pride in, and W.A. Bess Elementary School gets to be doubly proud.  First receiving the prestigious national recognition in 2006, W.A. Bess is celebrating again after being named a 2022 National Blue Ribbon School. 

    Each year, the United States Department of Education presents the National Blue Ribbon School award to the top schools in the country, which are recognized for exemplary academic achievement and continued excellence in education.  This year, W.A. Bess is one of only 297 schools in the nation and among only five schools in North Carolina to earn the achievement.

    In early November, principal Laura Clark, third grader teacher Nikki Simmons, and Superintendent of Schools W. Jeffrey Booker attended a program in Washington, D.C. where the school was recognized and received the award.  A ceremony was held at the school two weeks later for students, faculty, and staff to celebrate earning the National Blue Ribbon School title again.  Everyone agrees that the award is a reflection of the people that make W.A. Bess what it is each and every day. 

    “Being named a National Blue Ribbon School is recognition of years of hard work, commitment, and dedication,” Clark said.  “Our teachers and staff do all they can to make sure students are learning, growing, and thriving every single school year, both inside and outside of the classroom, and that is no easy task.” 

    Simmons was a new employee at W.A. Bess in 2006 when the school got its first National Blue Ribbon School award. 

    “As a new hire, I didn’t know much about how prestigious the National Blue Ribbon award is, but I quickly discovered why Bess was chosen for the title,” Simmons said.  “We all work very hard to create a strong school culture.  It is a culture that values communication, collaboration, and a lot of hard work.  Our students come to school eager to grow and learn.” 

    Fifth grader and student council president Harper Massey echoed Simmons’ sentiments about why she loves being a student at W.A. Bess. 

    “I have been at W.A. Bess since kindergarten, and thanks to the amazing teachers and students here, learning is fun,” she said.  “The time I have spent at Bess has been a wonderful experience, and there is no other school I would rather have attended for elementary school.”

    Parent and PTO co-president Joe Schwartz said the school has been a perfect fit for his family.

    “When I think about my family’s journey at W.A. Bess, and all of the people here that have touched our lives, I could not begin to count the number of meaningful, positive moments that have happened over the last eight years,” he said. “W.A. Bess is a second home for our family.”

    When people ask Schwartz what makes W.A. Bess Elementary a great school, his answer is simple. 

    “The people inside our school are second to none,” he said. “In every situation, the children come first.  Knowing our students are in such great hands each day at W.A. Bess means that we are giving them a foundation of success, which means they can grow into adults who will succeed and who we can all be proud of.”

    Congratulations, W.A. Bess Elementary, on being named a 2022 National Blue Ribbon School!