TEMPERANCE - Bedford Junior High School was named one of eight Blue Ribbon Schools by the state Board of Education, the second school in the Bedford district to win the distinction, the board announced yesterday.
The Michigan Blue Ribbon Exemplary School Program recognizes schools that improve academically over a five-year period and demonstrate a strong commitment to excellence.
Such schools must make adequate yearly progress as required by the federal No Child Left Behind law, have a state EducationYES! Report Card grade of A or B, and not have a Native American mascot, nickname, or logo.
Mary Lou Zaums, principal of the junior high, said the school's proficiency scores have been rising steadily, with the school labeled "exemplary" under the state board's criteria.
"It's awesome," she said. "We are certainly honored to achieve this."
Mrs. Zaums, who has worked at Bedford Junior High for 34 years, credited parents, teachers, and the community for backing the school's efforts to improve. The school has 870 students.
Last year, Temperance Road Elementary was singled out as a state blue ribbon school.
Other winners were Big Rapids High School, Grandville High School, Waldon Middle School in Lake Orion, East Rockford Middle School, Swan Valley High School in Saginaw, Dwight D. Eisenhower High School near Utica, and Grissom Middle School in Warren. Elementary and secondary schools compete separately in alternate years.
Mrs. Zaums said the president of the state Board of Education, Kathleen Straus, and board member Elizabeth Bauer will visit the school at 9:30 a.m. Monday for an award presentation.