Harwood Elementary Earns Blue Ribbon Honor

The school was one of only two in North Dakota to receive the award this year.

HARWOOD, N.D.- This is the second time Harwood Elementary School has been named a Blue Ribbon school.

The first was in 2006.

“Humbling and validating for the hard work that we’ve been doing. I’ve been the principal here six years. Our staff here and our students here really work hard everyday to really do their best,” says Jerry Standifer, the principal at Hardwood Elementary.

The Blue Ribbon program honors schools every year with overall high academic excellence.

“We chose Harwood Elementary School because we obviously look at academic success and how well those students are doing in the basic subject areas of reading, spelling, and writing, and
speaking skills as well as math and science. And all of those basic skills. But also more than that, how well, not just how the students are doing when they come here but how well does the school do their job of making sure that every student has a year of growth,” says Supt. Kirsten Baesler, the Superintendent, ND Dept. of Public Instruction.

“To be able to represent North Dakota is a big deal for us. Because we do have a great state in education and to be able to talk about the good things that we’re doing here with other larger states, it feels very good,” Standifer says.

They say there is something really special about North Dakota is being a state with a small population.

“There is a blessing about being small, and there is a blessing about being small. And I have to tell you because we are, what I describe, is North Dakota as, we are one community with a really long main street that goes all sorts of directions and because of that ability to build relationships we cultivate opportunities for our students,” says Supt. Baesler.

Students also spoke about how special the school was for them.

“I do have one complaint, and that is that our school doesn’t go past 5th grade. If I could decide I would stay here through all of High School,” says 5th grader at Harwood Elementary.

Since the program started in 1982, North Dakota has won 58 times.

Categories: Community, Local News, North Dakota News