DAFB Middle School recognized as National Blue Ribbon School

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Aaron J. Jenne
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. recognized the Dover AFB Middle School as a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School Sept. 28, 2016.

The school is one of nearly 330 public and private schools across the nation selected for this prestigious title, which recognizes elementary, middle and high schools where students achieve at very high levels or significant improvements are observed in students’ level of achievements.

DAFBMS was the only middle school in Delaware selected and one of 27 in the U.S.

“The success of the school is rooted in its excellent parental support and an unparalleled student work ethic that is synonymous with the U. S. Military,” said David Santore, DAFB Middle School principle. “The outstanding teachers and staff work closely together to create an environment of constant academic improvement and meaningful personal growth for all children. This award is truly a product of a total team effort, and we are proud to be recognized.”

According to the U.S. Department of Education website, “The National Blue Ribbon School award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content. The National Blue Ribbon School flag gracing an entry or flying overhead is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.”

Each year, deserving schools are nominated by their state’s department of education. In addition, schools must also complete a comprehensive application detailing school practices.

Each nominated school may apply for recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School under one of two categories: Exemplary High Performing School, recognized for its top performance standards, or Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing, schools progressing toward goals at the highest rates. DAFB Middle School was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon Exemplary High Performing School.

DAFB Middle School is not the only local school to receive this title. In fact, it is one of six Caesar Rodney School District schools to receive this award over the past 32 years, with its schools receiving awards in 1984, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and now 2016.

“I am extremely proud of the educational opportunities that Caesar Rodney School District is able to provide the children of our military heroes who serve at Dover Air Force Base,” said Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald, CRSD superintendent. “This award exemplifies our commitment to our children and the teamwork found at Dover Air Force Base Middle School. I am also very proud that Caesar Rodney has had five ‘National Blue Ribbon Schools’ in the last six years.”

Santor and Jennifer Torgerson, DAFB Middle School 2016 teacher of the year, will represent the school in Washington, D.C., this November during a two-day recognition ceremony.

After 34 years of recognition, fewer than 8,500 schools have received this honor, confirming DAFB Middle School’s status among the best of the best.

“As a parent of a student and as an Airman who calls Dover home, I am thrilled our middle school earned the National Blue Ribbon School designation,” said Col. Randy Boswell, 436th Mission Support Group commander. “This is a great honor for our school and a tribute to the invested time and dedication of our students, families and faculty. The middle school is an important part of our Dover community and it is wonderful to see the national recognition.”