Swanson Elementary Receives Blue Ribbon Award


Swanson Elementary recently received the Blue Ribbon Award from the U.S. Department of Education.

Swanson Elementary School has been named a National Blue Ribbon school by the U.S. Department of Education for their academic and community achievements.

This honor, conferred on September 21, is presented to only 100 schools in the country every year, and is given to schools that raise the standard for educational growth and development for their students. Superintendent Mike Lucas said that the Westside district stands out against other schools in the country because of its unique staff and student body.

“A few things that set Westside apart are [its] tremendous students and families with high expectations, dedicated and talented staff [and a] board of education that is very student and staff oriented,” Lucas said.

Swanson received this honor for the inclusive community they have created and for their admirable academic program. 

“Swanson won the Blue Ribbon due to great leadership from [Principal] Jen Harr and her staff,” Lucas said. “They showed great improvement in student achievement in all areas.”

Jennifer Harr organized the lengthy application process for her school. 

“The core values of Swanson Elementary are rooted in the belief that all learners are capable of excellence,” Harr said. “Excellence in instruction, excellence in providing an inclusive and supporting environment for all and excellence in the engagement of our students, staff and community.”

Harr said that after learning online for a good portion of the past year and a half, Harr is incredibly proud of the hard work her staff and students have put in.

“[I am] unbelievably proud of our students, staff and community for receiving this prestigious award,” Harr said.  “We were nominated and received this award during a global pandemic, and to be able to continue this work, at this level, and be recognized for it is a great honor.”