Hamilton Elementary wins national Blue Ribbon School award

Port Angeles school is one of four to be given honor in state

PORT ANGELES — Hamilton Elementary School in Port Angeles received its third national award in four years, as it was designated last week by the U.S. Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School for 2020.

“We’re obviously honored and humbled,” said Principal Gary Pringle. “It is a true testament to the dedication and hard work of the entire Hamilton Hawk family.

“This is an amazing honor and the result of years of hard work at Hamilton. I salute the dedication of Hamilton to their students and families, the long hours and hard work by staff, families and volunteers, and a clear vision of a commitment to excellence,” Pringle said.

Hamilton received the award in the category as an Exemplary High Performing School, based on all student scores, student subgroup scores and graduation rates. It is just one of four Washington schools to receive national Blue Ribbon awards in 2020.

The others were Cascade Elementary in East Wenatchee, Ridgecrest Elementary in Puyallup and University Place Primary in University Place.

Hamilton a year ago was awarded a Title I National Elementary and Secondary Education Act Distinguished School Award for exceptional student performance and academic growth for two or more consecutive years, just one of two schools in Washington to receive that award.

Pringle said that while receiving that award in Atlanta last year, representatives from the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction told him, “You’re not just doing great things for a Title I school, you’re doing great things just in general.” OSPI officials then nominated Hamilton for the Blue Ribbon School award.

In 2018, Hamilton was the recipient of the ASCD Vision in Action: The Whole Child Award in Boston.

Pringle credited what he called “The Hamilton Way.”

“The Hamilton vision is to inspire and empower students, their families and staff to take on the challenging and exciting journey to achieve academic excellence. We do this by creating learning and working environments where high performance, kindness, self-responsibility and playfulness are the expectations,” Pringle said.

The 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony will be held virtually Nov. 12-13 due to COVID-19.

The Department of Education will celebrate the 317 public and 50 non-public school honorees, and each school will receive their plaques and flags via mail.

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