"Wow, what an honor to be represented here and to be even thought of as one of the top schools validates everything" said Manzanita Elementary School Superintendent and Principal Brad Roberts. It's a validation he says the school has worked years to achieve. That hard work has now paid off, after the school learned it was nominated by the California State Superintendent for the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, which recognizes elementary schools nationwide that are both academically superior and have grown in student achievement. " We see each individual student as an individual, we help them meet their fullest potential and we make life and learning exciting for them" explained Manzanita Kindergarten Teacher Ann Dempsey.
Manzanita is one of only 35 California Schools nominated for the award, and the only school north of Sacramento. Quite an accomplishment for a school made up of just 290 students and 15 teachers. "We've been very successful and really happy, it's a real team here" said Roberts. And the school follows strict guidelines to earn such achievements. "Big emphasis on all students completing all their work and doing their best, those students who aren't doing well, we target and we provide support" Roberts said.
Manzanita Elementary is no stranger to excellent student performance. It's been a California Distinguished School for the past three years, received the California Academic Achievement Award for the last five years, and tested above the states average for star testing the last 11 years in a row. "We all have a vision of where we want to go, and with wonderful leadership like Mr. Roberts, we're progressing every year" explained Dempsey. A vision that Manzanita Elementary School doesn't plan on changing anytime soon. Manzanita will find out if it has won the Blue Ribbon Schools Program in September of next year.