C.W. Shipley Elementary Celebrates National Blue Ribbon School Recognition

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. - C.W. Shipley Elementary School (CWS) celebrated its designation as a 2022 National Blue Ribbon School on December 20 with a school-wide assembly. The National Blue Ribbon School recognition affirms and validates the hard work of CWS students, educators, families, and communities in striving for and attaining exemplary achievement. CWS Principal Dr. Brooks Kursey said it was important for the school community to celebrate the honor together.  

"It's a recognition of the work of our students, our staff, and our community, and we're very excited to be here this morning." 

CWS student council members shared their thoughts on what makes the school so special. The students spoke about engaged learning activities, kind people, and a fun environment. Council President Moon Ho, fifth grade, said CWS was the perfect place to learn and grow in the right direction. 

"Every day at Shipley is delightful," Ho said. "There are always classmates, friends, and teachers to support me." 

Harpers Ferry Mayor Greg Vaughn also spoke about the impact of the National Blue Ribbon designation.   

"The national prominence of Shipley (CWS) was achieved by the hard, dedicated work of so many at this school," Mayor Vaughn said. "You all pull together with incredible teamwork, and compassion, and a commitment to excellence for these wonderful scholars before me." 

Several members of the LSIC (Local School Improvement Council) attended the assembly, along with parents and school volunteers. Former CWS staff also returned, including former principal and current Jefferson County Board of Education Vice President Mark Osbourn, retired fourth-grade teacher Lynn Vaughn, and retired secretary Jean Reed. 

The U.S. Department of Education selects National Blue Ribbon Schools based on overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said Blue Ribbon Schools go above and beyond to keep students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. They serve as models of effective school practices for state and district educators and other schools nationwide.