Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Saturday, February 17, 2018

stjames_blueStudents and a teacher at St. James School in Manchester sport blue ribbons that were distributed there on Sept. 9. From left are student Lauren Bairos, teacher Diane DiBenedetto and students Alyssa Fiori and Nicole Poulin. In Connecticut, eight of the 12 winning schools are Catholic schools. (Photo submitted)

 HARTFORD – Two schools in the Archdiocese of Hartford are among 304 schools nationwide to be honored as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education – the highest honor bestowed on a school for its academic excellence.

St. James School in Manchester and St. Martha School in Enfield join an elite group of 50 private and parochial schools and 254 public schools in the country to receive the recognition.

The Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private schools offering kindergarten through 12th grade for their academic excellence and ability to help students achieve at very high levels.

"We’re very excited and very proud of everyone," said Patricia Kanute, principal of St. James School, which opened in 1922 and has an enrollment of 450 students.

"It shows that we work very hard here and regard education as being very important.

"It’s an honor to be among those receiving this recognition and affirms all that we do here," she said.

Felician Sister Theresa Marie Grochowski, principal of St. Martha School in Enfield, which opened in 1964, was equally enthusiastic.

"We at St. Martha School always believed we had high academic standards and an outstanding educational experience in a faith-based environment driven by a dedicated and supportive staff with students who are eager to learn," she said.

Dale R. Hoyt, superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese, said he was "thrilled" at the selection of St. Martha and St. James. He said previous winning schools were Sacred Heart Academy in Hamden, St. Brendan in New Haven, East Catholic High in Manchester, Northwest Catholic High in West Hartford and St. Francis in New Haven.

The two schools placed among the highest performing schools in the nation in reading and mathematics, scoring in the upper 90th percentile in the Iowa Basic Skills Test.

This year, 139 private parochial schools applied for the program and 50 were accepted. In Connecticut, 12 schools were selected to receive the honor – four public and eight Catholic elementary schools.

In addition to St. James and St. Martha Schools, the other Catholic schools selected were: Our Lady Star of the Sea School in Stamford, St. Aloysius School in New Canaan, St. Mary School in Ridgefield, St. Gregory the Great School in Danbury, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School in Fairfield and St. Catherine of Siena School in Trumbull.

Representatives from St. James and St. Martha schools will be honored at an awards ceremony Nov. 15-16 in Washington, D.C. Both schools have also planned local celebrations with honored guests including Archbishop Henry J. Mansell; Mr. Hoyt; town officials; and friends and families of the schools and parishes.

The Blue Ribbon Schools Program is part of a larger U.S. Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about best school leadership and teaching practices. Since 1982, the department has sought to recognize schools where students attain and maintain high academic goals.

 HARTFORD – Two schools in the Archdiocese of Hartford are among 304 schools nationwide to be honored as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education – the highest honor bestowed on a school for its academic excellence.

St. James School in Manchester and St. Martha School in Enfield join an elite group of 50 private and parochial schools and 254 public schools in the country to receive the recognition.

The Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private schools offering kindergarten through 12th grade for their academic excellence and ability to help students achieve at very high levels.

"We’re very excited and very proud of everyone," said Patricia Kanute, principal of St. James School, which opened in 1922 and has an enrollment of 450 students.

"It shows that we work very hard here and regard education as being very important.

"It’s an honor to be among those receiving this recognition and affirms all that we do here," she said.

Felician Sister Theresa Marie Grochowski, principal of St. Martha School in Enfield, which opened in 1964, was equally enthusiastic.

"We at St. Martha School always believed we had high academic standards and an outstanding educational experience in a faith-based environment driven by a dedicated and supportive staff with students who are eager to learn," she said.

Dale R. Hoyt, superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese, said he was "thrilled" at the selection of St. Martha and St. James. He said previous winning schools were Sacred Heart Academy in Hamden, St. Brendan in New Haven, East Catholic High in Manchester, Northwest Catholic High in West Hartford and St. Francis in New Haven.

The two schools placed among the highest performing schools in the nation in reading and mathematics, scoring in the upper 90th percentile in the Iowa Basic Skills Test.

This year, 139 private parochial schools applied for the program and 50 were accepted. In Connecticut, 12 schools were selected to receive the honor – four public and eight Catholic elementary schools.

In addition to St. James and St. Martha Schools, the other Catholic schools selected were: Our Lady Star of the Sea School in Stamford, St. Aloysius School in New Canaan, St. Mary School in Ridgefield, St. Gregory the Great School in Danbury, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School in Fairfield and St. Catherine of Siena School in Trumbull.

Representatives from St. James and St. Martha schools will be honored at an awards ceremony Nov. 15-16 in Washington, D.C. Both schools have also planned local celebrations with honored guests including Archbishop Henry J. Mansell; Mr. Hoyt; town officials; and friends and families of the schools and parishes.

The Blue Ribbon Schools Program is part of a larger U.S. Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about best school leadership and teaching practices. Since 1982, the department has sought to recognize schools where students attain and maintain high academic goals.