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District earns two Blue Ribbon honors

Byron Center is only district in Michigan to have schools recognized

Byron Center — Two Byron Center elementary schools have been named National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2022 by the U.S. Department of Education.

“Please join me in congratulating Brown and Marshall (elementary schools) for being recognized as 2022 National Blue Ribbon Schools,” Superintendent Kevin Macina wrote in a letter sent out to families on Friday. “This recognition is an honor and a reminder of our commitment to all our students. We are the Bulldogs!”

Byron Center was the only district in Michigan to have schools chosen for such recognition this year. 

The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Both Brown and Marshall received the award in the Exemplary High Performance Schools category. 

On the National Blue Ribbon Schools website, Brown Elementary is described as a school where “teachers work, learn, and collaborate together to evaluate their practices and the needs, interests, and skills of students to improve learning. Culture is one of Brown’s greatest attributes and influences everything staff do.”

Brown was one of the first schools in Michigan to be awarded the National Blue Ribbon, in 2001, and then earned the honor a second time in 2015. 

At Marshall Elementary, the school’s commitment to the Professional Learning Communities process “has been a catalyst for Marshall’s increase in student achievement scores in core academic areas,” and “helps students build success stories during their foundational years,”

according to the National Blue Ribbon Schools website

This is the second time Marshall has been named a National Blue Ribbon School, having received the award previously in 2016

“We could not have achieved this level of success without our students, staff, parents, Board of Education, and the community working together,” Macina wrote in his letter to families. “The hard work, success, and dedication of Brown and Marshall embodies our mission of helping students build success stories throughout the entire district.”

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Alexis Stark
Alexis Stark is a reporter, covering Caledonia, Kenowa Hills, Godfrey-Lee, Grand Rapids and is a roving reporter for GRCC, Wyoming, Kentwood and Byron Center. She grew up in metro Detroit and her journalism journey brought her west to Grand Rapids via Michigan State University where she covered features and campus news for The State News. She also co-authored three 100-question guides to increase understanding and awareness of various human identities, through the MSU School of Journalism. Following graduation, she worked as a beat reporter for The Ann Arbor News - covering stories on education, community, prison arts and poetry.  Following a stint as a copywriter for a Grand Rapids area PR firm, she transitioned from communications to freelance writing and reporting for SNN.  Read Alexis' full bio

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