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Sunday May 29th, 2016 2:13AM

Sugar Hill Elementary students surprised with ice cream for Blue Ribbon achievement

By Alyson Shields Reporter
GAINESVILLE - Sugar Hill Elementary was recently honored by the National Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School. The school is the first and only Hall County school to be recognized for their significant improvement.

The students gathered for assembly today and were surprised with Blue Bell ice cream. Blue Bell Creameries brought ice cream sandwiches for every student, faculty and staff member to celebrate the work the school had put in to becoming a Blue Ribbon School.

Blue Bell Creameries partnered with Georgia State Superintendent John Barge for the event.

"There are only eight attempted Blue Ribbon Schools that we can nominate to the US Department of Education, so this truly represents the best of the best," Barge said.

State Superintendent Barge, Hall County Superintendent Will Schofield and others from the board of education attended the assembly. Dr. Barge presented Sugar Hill Principal Beth Skarda with a certificate of recognition.

Skarda said in a speech she was frequently asked how Sugar Hill had become a Blue Ribbon school. "I could go in to a long description of the programs that we use, how we focus on data, how we focus our efforts towards meeting our goals" said Skarda during her speech. "My initial response to this question is simple and contains three factors... teachers, students and community." Skarda later said she was thankful for how much the community supported the school.

The Blue Ribbon program recognizes schools that are among the highest preforming schools in their state, or are schools with at least 40 percent of students from disadvantaged background that have significantly improved student performance.
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