Two schools, one district nominated for National Blue Ribbon Award

SPRING LAKE, Mich. -- Teachers in a West Michigan school system are being recognized on a national level for their hard work and impact on students lives.

It's not just educators at one school being recognized, but two separate schools in the same district.

Spring Lake Public Schools superintendent Dennis Furton said the faculty is proud to have both Holmes and Jeffers Elementary Schools nominated for the U.S. Department of Education's National Blue Ribbon Award.

“The success of this is completely contingent upon our teaching staff," said Furton. "We’re lucky to have one of the best teaching staffs, they’ve dedicated themselves not just this last year, but over the history of the school.”

The district is home to two of the 13 schools that are nominated for this year's award, as exemplary high-performing schools. In order for the schools to qualify for the award, the schools needed to show high test scores in core subjects.

“We challenge each other as staff. Are we doing the best for the kids? Are we meeting every child’s needs?," said Holmes Elementary 4th grade teacher Mary Vandenbosch. "Are we doing the best curriculum? We challenge students, we push them to be the best they can be.”

Vandenbosch said the school district works to stay ahead of the curve.

“They’re sending us to New York to learn from the best at the Teachers College at Columbia University for our reading instruction," said Vandenbosch. "We just changed our math curriculum, we find we’re always trying to challenge ourselves.”

The nominated schools will have to complete the application process, and the award winners will be announced in September.

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