U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recognized 362 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2019. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Hawthorne Elementary School was selected as an Exemplary High Performing School. According to Principal Becky Sorenson, they received this recognition in large part due to the staff at the school.

“We use this method called Professional Learning Community,” Sorenson said. “It is a model of collaboration where teachers work hard, dig deep into the data and really try to align the standard instruction and assessment. They go way beyond what most people would expect. They are truly professional educators and they deserve this award. It is certainly not me.”

Sorenson was especially proud of her staff when it comes to math and science education. She says Hawthorne’s math scores are outstanding.

“Last year, we had a high number of students that scored advanced on the state test,” Sorenson said. “44% of our 5th graders scored advanced compared to 20% in the state and 31% in our district. Year after year, we have had high scores, especially in math. I think it is partially due to our focus on science because math and science go hand in hand.”

KGVO also had the privilege of talking with three 4th grade reporters at Hawthorne Elementary. School just started and Madison shared one of her goals for the year.

“Something I would like to accomplish is my math,” Madison said. “There have been some things that are kind of tough for me, but once I get those down, I would like to challenge myself to do more.”

Kinsie and Addison shared their goals as well.

“I am looking forward to accomplishing a lot of my reading and writing,” Kinsie said. “Something that I am looking forward to accomplishing this year is really building my skills with everyone that I meet and really working hard on my work,” Addison said. “I am really building up for 5th grade and years and years on.”

Madison says she likes Hawthorne Elementary School because everybody gets along and it is easy to make friends. Addison says everyone is a team and they are great at getting their jobs done. Kinsie says there are a lot of things the she likes about Hawthorne, but she especially likes the fact that everyone feels safe at school.

Here are some of the 5th grade reporters at Hawthorne as well!