On Friday, Sept. 7, United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan verified what many Cazenovia residents already knew, by recognizing Burton Street Elementary School as a 2012 National Blue Ribbon School.
The designation is given to schools that exhibit continued successes in raising the academic achievement of students. Only 269 schools throughout the country received the award this year. Cazenovia Junior-Senior High School received the award during the 1988-89 school year.
As the son of a Burton Street Elementary School teacher (I admit I am a bit biased), I know how much heart and dedication goes into each teaching day. Teaching is not a nine-to-five job. Teaching doesn’t end with the closing of the building for summer vacation. Teachers attend professional development courses over the summer, participate in updating the curriculum and attend workshops to stay current on new initiatives. In addition, New York state teachers are required to have a master’s degree.
As a previous student, I can attest that teachers work continuously to make the learning fun and meaningful for each student. The teachers at Burton Street differentiate instruction so each student learns to the best of his/her ability.
High test scores and graduation percentages at the high school are achieved because of the talented educators there, but also because of the strong educational foundation instilled into students at an early age.
This past year, the Cazenovia High School Academic Decathlon team won its seventh state title in eight years, and ranked 25th in the country.
This most recent designation confirms that the educators in this district are some of the best. It should be no surprise to our community that our elementary school has received such a prestigious award.
Congratulations to every Burton Street School student and staff member, current and past.
Pierce Smith is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at 434-8889 ext. 338 or firstname.lastname@example.org.