Potter Gray Elementary, Drakes Creek Middle School awarded ‘Blue Ribbon Schools’

They join 353 schools across the country who were recognized for their academic performance.
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 5:55 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Seven Kentucky schools were named Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education.

Potter Gray Elementary School and Drakes Creek Middle School were on the list. They join 353 schools across the country who were recognized for their academic performance.

“The honorees for our 2023 National Blue Ribbon Schools Award have set a national example for what it means to raise the bar in education,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “The leaders, educators, and staff at our National Blue Ribbon Schools continually inspire me with their dedication to fostering academic excellence and building positive school cultures that support students of all backgrounds to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.”

Students and staff at Potter Gray Elementary were treated to a surprise assembly where it was announced that their hard work had paid off and that they’d been recognized on the national level once again.

“We really believe in our motto, and what we share with our students. ‘Excellence is worth the effort,’ so we want to bring excellence to the table through everything that we do, and that’s really hard every day because you’re bringing in through the doors personal stuff.” Principal Keith Brown said. “But when we’re in our classrooms, when we’re learning, we work to give our very best, and when we do that, we can achieve anything that we set our minds to.”

Three schools in the Bowling Green Independent School district have received the award in the past, including T.C. Cherry in 2003, W.R. McNeill in 2011, Potter Gray Elementary in 2009, and again this year.

“This is not just a one or two-year deal, this is an investment in excellence over many years. So, we’re grateful not only to have received this award back in 2009 but also to be able to receive it this year,” said Brown.

While the award is mainly based on a school’s academic performance, Brown believes that for their school, it represents much more. The dedication of the students, teachers, and support staff at Potter Gray made the distinction possible.

“During days off where students are at home, they’re working, they’re having committee meetings,” Brown said. “They’re having what we call communities of practice where we come together and we work on what standards we’re teaching, how we’re teaching it and making sure it’s to the highest level and the highest rigor possible.”

Principal Brown and other selected members of the Potter Gray staff will travel to Washington D.C. to receive the school’s award later this year.