HARTFORD – Three Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Hartford have been recognized as 2012 Blue Ribbon Schools for academic excellence.
Corpus Christi School in Wethersfield, Our Lady of Mercy School in Madison and St. Dominic School in Southington have earned the Blue Ribbon designation, the highest award granted by the United States Department of Education.
The three parish schools in the archdiocese and one other, St. Joseph’s in Danbury, are the only four Catholic schools in New England that were chosen for the honor this year.
The designation was awarded to 50 private schools and 219 public schools this year.
To be considered for the award, all grades in a school that took the Iowa Test of Basic Skills had to have scored in the 85th percentile or higher in reading and math.
"I am exceedingly proud of these three fine schools for achieving Blue Ribbon status, and I applaud the dedicated efforts of their exceptional leadership team and faculty," said Dr. Dale R. Hoyt, superintendent of Catholic schools.
"Corpus Christi School, Our Lady of Mercy School and St. Dominic School have brought great honor to their communities, to the archdiocese and to Catholic education. They stand as stellar examples of the excellence and superb achievement that is so characteristic of our Catholic schools," Dr. Hoyt added.
Sister Carol Sansone, a member of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, has been principal of Our Lady of Mercy for two years.
She said that "from the moment I stepped through the front door, I knew that Our Lady of Mercy was a Blue Ribbon School. I am blessed with wonderful students, teachers and families."
Sister Carol will attend a national awards ceremony Nov. 12-13 in Washington along with Eileen Sampiere, principal of Corpus Christi, and Patricia O’Neil Tiezzi, principal of St. Dominic.
After the principals return, the schools will host individual celebrations to honor their respective students, faculty, administrators and parents. Archbishop Henry J. Mansell and Dr. Hoyt will attend the events to offer their congratulations.
Our Lady of Mercy will hold its celebration at 10 a.m. Dec. 11. St. Dominic plans its event at 10 a.m. Dec. 12, and Corpus Christi’s festivities will be at 10 a.m. Dec. 13.
Last year, St. Gabriel School in Windsor was the only school in New England that earned the Blue Ribbon designation.
In previous years, seven other schools have earned the honor. They are St. James in Manchester, St. Martha in Enfield, Sacred Heart Academy in Hamden, St. Brendan in New Haven, Northwest Catholic High School in West Hartford, East Catholic High School in Manchester and St. Francis in New Haven.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said the nation’s biggest responsibility is helping students realize their full potential.
"Schools honored with the National Blue Ribbon Schools award are committed to accelerating student achievement and preparing students for success in college and careers. Their work reflects the conviction that every child has promise and that education is the surest pathway to a strong, secure future," Mr. Duncan said.