West Fargo’s Freedom Elementary Achieves Blue Ribbon Distinction
The school joins Legacy Elementary as West Fargo's two winners since 2017
WEST FARGO, N.D. — Seven years ago, Freedom Elementary opened its doors, forming a family of students and staff from different parts of the district.
At the helm since the beginning, Dr. Jeff Johnson says his district has overcome some challenges, but student success was their top priority.
“Our boundary lines have changed I believe three different times, with kids coming and going, yet through it all, we’ve been able to maintain our structure, we’ve maintained what we set out to do, letting families know that we are a family. We’re going to take care of our students,” Dr. Johnson said.
That focus on family resonates with the students, and has translated to classroom success, paving the way for Freedom to achieve national recognition.
“It’s an honor for our school community as a whole, for our students, our staff, our parents, everybody coming together,” Dr. Johnson said.
There are only 350 schools out of more than 98,000 nationwide to receive national Blue Ribbon recognition each year. West Fargo Public Schools has had schools recognized in back–to–back years.
“It is a community that is forward thinking and planning for the future, and when you have two schools in back–to–back years receiving this national honor that is very prestigious and very hard to earn, it says that West Fargo Public Schools is doing something well,” said Kirsten Baesler, the State Superintendent for Public Instruction.
“The staff at Freedom does a great job of making school exciting and fun for students. They are first–adopters, they’re risk–takers, and they are willing to go above and beyond,” Beth Slette, Superintendent for West Fargo Public Schools, said.
Dr. Johnson says that maintaining this national standard will be a good challenge to have, but he says he’s excited for the road ahead.
“Representing our community, our school district, and the state of North Dakota is a huge achievement for us, and we don’t take that for granted,” said Dr. Johnson.
Freedom joins Legacy Elementary and Harwood as the three schools from West Fargo to achieve Blue Ribbon status since the program began in 1982.