Community Elementary nationally recognized as ‘Blue Ribbon School’

Award marks first of its kind honor in Cumberland

Community Elementary School was lauded during a ceremony Friday for its national recognition as a “Blue Ribbon School,” the first Cumberland school to be so honored.

“The leadership team here, the teachers, the staff, the custodians, the students, and the parents are a model of excellence, not just for our community, but our state, and our nation,” said School Committee Chair Ray Salvatore.

Community School Principal Cheryl Vaughn presents the National Blue Ribbon School plaque to students during Friday's celebration.

There are 98,817 schools in the U.S. Only 342 are recognized as Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education. Just three schools in Rhode Island earned the distinction. Community School was one of them, recognized for its academic excellence.

Superintendent Bob Mitchell commended students, teachers, and the entire school community for their hard work and perseverance.  “It means that Community Elementary School is one of the best schools in the United States of America,” Mitchell said.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools program honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students are excelling with high learning standards, or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap. Community Elementary is being applauded as an exemplary high performing school.

“You put Cumberland on the map,” Mayor Bill Murray told students, faculty members, and local and state dignitaries.  The CHS band and cheerleaders helped celebrate the day, with the band playing songs and the cheerleaders getting the students to cheer.

Joining in the celebration, held in the school’s gym, were Rhode Island Department of Education Commissioner Ken Wagner, School Committee members Bill Dennen and Amy Goggin, Town Councilors Lisa Beaulieau and Tom Kane, State Senator Ryan Pearson, and State Representative Mia Ackerman.