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DC West Elementary Honored Nationally!

2015 National Blue Ribbon School Recipient

It is a coveted national award! The U.S. Department of Education announced that DC West Elementary School is one of 335 schools nationwide to receive the 2015 National Blue Ribbon School designation for achieving and maintaining the highest levels of academic excellence. This is welcome news and highlights why DC West Elementary is a great school.

“Receiving the Blue Ribbon for sustaining exemplary high performance validates our hard work in hiring and maintaining high quality staff. It is a tribute to our teachers and students,” said Duane Krusemark, Principal of Douglas County West Elementary.

“DC West Elementary is exceptional based on a combination of our teachers, their relationship with students and our small classroom size, which is under 20 students to one teacher. This designation is a tremendous honor that we are very proud to receive,” said Krusemark.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan stated the National Blue Ribbon award honors schools that are “leading students to the highest level of achievement or making outstanding progress in closing achievement gaps.” Duncan added that “this honor recognizes your students’ accomplishments, and the amazing hard work and dedication that went into your success.”


“Every day, even in the midst of very real challenges, you (teachers, administrators & support staff) try to make an imperfect world a little bit better. Working together we can provide a world class education to students in all of our nation’s schools. We can and must reaffirm the promise that in America education is the great equalizer. Let’s work together so that all of our schools inspire our children and empower their dreams. Again, thank you for this tremendous honor, and thank you so much for the commitment you show each and every day,” emphasized Duncan during today’s video announcement from Washington, D.C.

DC West Elementary, with currently 305 students, is one of five Nebraska elementary schools to receive the award, based on maintaining the highest level of standardized testing performance in both math and reading. To qualify, at least 40% of students come from low income homes. St. Robert Bellarmine School in Omaha was the other metro-area elementary given the 2015 National Blue Ribbon designation.  

Principal Duane Krusemark, 4th grade teachers Samantha Parolek and Mary Jean Fitzgerald, 3rd grade teacher Corissa Hays and 2nd grade teacher Connie Rance shall travel to Washington D.C. on Nov. 9-10 to take part in a recognition ceremony.

In its 33-year history, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed this coveted award to more than 8,000 American schools.


News Release 

Watch the Announcement from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncun.
Cannot Watch? | View Here

Please note: In the above video, the Secretary of Education Arne Duncan stated that 331 schools nationwide were honored. The final number is 335 schools.