Chesterton Tribune

 

 

St. Patrick Catholic School named a National Blue Ribbon School

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By KEVIN NEVERS

St. Patrick Catholic School has been awarded the prestigious National Blue Ribbon School award by the U.S. Department of Education.

U.S. Secretary of Education Anne Duncan announced the honor on Tuesday, in a live stream viewed by students, teachers, and principals across the country.

The National Blue Ribbon School award recognizes St. Pat’s to be among the “highest performing schools” in the State of Indiana, as measured by standardized assessments, student subgroup performance, and high-school graduation rates.

St. Pat’s Principal Richard Rupcich put the honor in context today. There are 100,506 elementary schools in the U.S., Rupcich told the Chesterton Tribune. Of those 337--or fewer than 1 percent--were named a National Blue Ribbon School on Tuesday. Of those 337, only 50 are private schools.

And St. Patrick Catholic School was the only private school in Indiana to be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

St. Pat’s high performance is measured not only by students’ ISTEP scores and their attendance, Rupcich noted, but also by their involvement in the community and by the school’s fulfillment of its mission: how successfully it projects its Catholic identity and promotes Gospel values.

Rupcich attributes St. Pat’s National Blue Ribbon School award first to “the dedication of its teachers.” Some of them have been at the school literally their whole lives, he said, as students from the age of 5 and now as teachers in their 50s. “They’re really committed to the students.”

And then, of course, there are the kids themselves. “They do the work, they do the homework, they take their classes seriously,” Rupcich said. “They are well-disciplined and they come to school ready to learn. And they go on to do exemplary work at Chesterton High School. They’re leaders in the community. They’re Honors students. They participate in extra-curriculars. We’re very proud of that.”

St. Pat’s parents, for their part, “make the sacrifice to send their children to a private Catholic school,” Rupcich said. “They are committed to that kind of education.”

Finally, Rupcich expressed his gratitude to Father James Meade, pastor at St. Patrick Catholic Church. “His vision of a quality Catholic education is tireless,” he said. “In tough economic times, when people are struggling, he’s kept things going when other schools have closed. He’s a visionary.”

St. Patrick Catholic School currently has 214 students enrolled in its K-8 curriculum and 80 more in pre-school. Not only is it a recipient of the National Blue Ribbon School award, it has been designated a Four-Star School for five consecutive years, beginning in 2009, by the Indiana Department of Education.

 

 

Posted 10/1/2014