ST. GEORGE — The office of the U.S. Secretary of Education recently announced a list of 362 schools nationwide recognized as National Blue Ribbon schools in 2019, and one of Washington County School District’s newest elementary schools made the cut.
According to a press release from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, schools awarded the National Blue Ribbon status employ “committed educators (that) hold students and staff to high standards and create vibrant, innovative cultures of teaching and learning.”
Crimson View Elementary was nominated under former-Principal Nathan Esplin as an “exemplary high performing school,” which is measured using state assessments and national tests. Crimson View is the only school to be recognized in Washington County and one of 16 schools honored in Utah.
The current principal of Crimson View, Adam Baker, said the extensive process started about a year ago when the Utah State Board of Education approached Esplin hoping to nominate the school and inviting Esplin to apply. Upon completion, the board reviewed the application to ensure everything was in order, but the school still had another year of data to collect before everything was set in stone.
Baker joined the Crimson View team as the principal in March, and he told St. George News he is blown away at the level of parent support and amazed at the level of expectation students have for themselves and how hard teachers work to ensure students are challenged and extend learning beyond the classroom.
“Our teachers and parents and students and staff have all worked pretty hard to make Crimson View an exceptional school, and this just validates all of their hard work,” Baker said.
This is the first year Crimson View has been eligible for the award, as all nominated schools must have a minimum of five years in operation. The elementary school opened its doors in August 2013, meeting the deadline with a matter of weeks to spare.
Previous to the recognition from DeVos, two years after the school welcomed its first students, it became one of two schools in the state to earn the platinum science, technology, engineering and mathematics – or STEM – designation.
Crimson View was also ranked in the top four schools in Utah for proficient students and student growth based on state assessment data for the 2016-17 school year and was awarded the Solution Tree Model PLC School Award during the 2017-18 school year.
Baker said it’s not just the students, parents and teachers that have truly set Crimson View apart from other schools and made it the award-winning public school it has come to be. From the kitchen staff to the custodians to the secretaries, each member of the Crimson View team works to ensure the school is a “great place to be,” creating a comfortable environment for students to learn and excel.
While they are pleased with the National Blue Ribbon designation, Baker said it won’t affect what they strive to do every day.
“We’re still doing what we’ve always done,” he said. “We’re working hard to make this a great place for kids to learn.”
Crimson View Elementary caters to around 650 students from kindergarten to fifth grade and uses a curriculum focused primarily on STEM education. The school’s mission is to enhance teacher knowledge and student innovation while “creating technology-rich classrooms” in order to grant students the opportunity to “explore, create, discover.”
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