Roosevelt Elementary earns national recognition

By Randy Gonzales
Special to the Hays Daily News

Roosevelt Elementary School is someplace special.

Part of USD 489, Roosevelt was one of five Kansas schools to be honored as a 2021 National Blue Ribbon School. There were 325 schools nationwide who received the honor. The award is based on state assessment scores.

“We’re pretty excited,” Roosevelt principal Keri Petersen said. “It’s a very big deal.”

School officials were notified last month that Roosevelt had been selected, and there was an assembly Friday afternoon to celebrate. The Hays High drumline and cheerleaders were on hand for the big occasion.

Roosevelt Elementary School students play with balloons after Friday’s ceremony honoring the school for its National Blue Ribbon award.

“It’s the first time I got to have an award ceremony like that,” said Petersen, in her second year as the school’s principal. “The kids loved it.”

Staff members also decorated the school and had blue and gold balloons at Friday’s ceremony that the students were allowed to play with afterward.

In its 39th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has handed out 10,000 awards to 9,000 schools. Petersen will receive a plaque at a ceremony Nov. 5 in Washington, D.C. She said it will be prominently displayed at the school. Petersen also has ordered a big banner recognizing the achievement for the front hallway. Approximately 40 staff members serve about 400 students this school year.

“I think as a staff (the award) shows how much we care about our students, and how much we want them to be successful,” Petersen said. “Not only now, but in the future.”

This is the first time Roosevelt has won the award.

“It’s just an honor to be nominated,” Petersen said. “There are a lot of great schools that won’t ever be nominated. The fact that we were is just really fantastic for our staff and students, and our families.”