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
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.
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
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.”
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