A Blue Ribbon means excellence

Published 2:25 pm Monday, May 23, 2005

By By NORMA LERNER / Casssopolis Vigilant
CASSOPOLIS - "I am the proudest of you today. I want to welcome all of our guests, all of our parents, our students who helped get this award," said Suzanne Hague, principal of Sam Adams Elementary School, who made opening remarks on Friday during the school's presentation of its first Blue Ribbon Exemplary award for academics presented by the Michigan State Board of Education.
For Hague it was a dream come true as it was a personal goal of hers when she became principal six years ago. The elementary school of grades three through six was one of 32 in the state who achieved the Blue Ribbon status this year.
"This was an effort by the staff, the community and the students," she said. "As long as we work together, we can do anything."
Her views were shared by Interim Superintendent Tracy Hertsel who said, "The Blue Ribbon Committee was working for a common goal. You are to be congratulated for all of your time and the students for your hard work." Hertsel is also principal of Squires Elementary School.
Elizabeth Bauer, state board of education member, said, "You guys are the best. You heard your superintendent talk about teamwork, hard work, and the Blue Ribbon Committee that worked so hard to put in for a Blue Ribbon award. You didn't win it for this year or for a certain day, it takes five years of constant excellence. I want to congratulate you all for your hard work, teamwork and for sticking to it for five years."
David Mills, director of the Blue Ribbon Department of Education, said, "There are more than 4,000 schools in the state. How many got the Blue Ribbon award. Thirty-two schools got it. We are proud of all of them. You did hard work and teamwork."
School Board President Christine Locke thanked the community leaders and parents who were all instrumental in achieving the Blue Ribbon goal." I want to congratulate Suzanne Hague," she said, "It was one of her goals."
Fourth grader Celia Ash spoke about "Sams" being a great place to go to school. She said there are four different subjects and in her computer class she is learning to type on the home keys. "There are a lot of interesting programs at Sams. There is a program to read a book and take a test to get points." She said she likes student council and her "wonderful teachers."
Julia Bell, Cassopolis village president, said it was a wonderful feeling for the school being one of 32 schools in the state to become a Blue Ribbon school. "You made it happen. It's a big boost to the community," she said.
Both Rep. Rick Shafer, R-Three Rivers, and Senator Ron Jelinek, R-Three Oaks, paid special tributes and said there was a letter of congratulation signed by them, Rep. Neal Nitz, R-Baroda, and Gov. Jennifer Granholm.
The program closed with a lively Sam Adams choir selection of "Celebrate." In the end, everyone stood and applauded.