MYRTLE BEACH — Forestbrook Elementary School was one of only 269 public and private schools nationwide to be named a 2012 National Blue Ribbon School on Friday.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the winners, saying the schools are models of excellence that are either academically superior or demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement. The recognition is the highest federal honor a school can be given.
Forestbrook is one of five schools in South Carolina to capture the top billing.
“Let me tell you, I’ve been here a long time, and I am so proud of the parents, kids and staff,” Principal Johnny Calder said. “This reaffirms that we’re doing some great things at the school and that this is a great community to live and go to school in.”
The school will be formally recognized at a ceremony on Nov. 12 and 13 in Washington, D.C. They will have their own celebration Monday at the school, when everything from clothes to cake to applesauce will take on a blue hue to commemorate the honor.
“We are going to rock this place pretty good,” Calder said.
Odds are, the school could write its own ticket as far as a celebration is concerned. Forestbrook Elementary has won the award twice in the last 11 years and is the first Horry County public school to win since Carolina Forest Elementary School did it in 2004. St. Andrew Catholic School in Myrtle Beach, a private school, won it in 2005, as did Sampit Elementary School in Georgetown. Browns Ferry Elementary in Georgetown was the last Grand Strand school to win it in 2006.
“To be recognized nationally puts Horry County and Forestbrook Elementary on the map, and we’re always proud when our kids can compete on the national level,” said Superintendent Cindy Elsberry. “Congratulations are due to the faculty and staff, as well as the families.
“That community is very, very committed that the children have a strong education.”
When it comes right down to it, it’s those youngsters who have brought home another lofty recognition to the Grand Strand, and it does not go unnoticed.
“I couldn’t be any prouder of the kids,” Calder said. “In the end, they are the ones who make us shine.”
Contact TODD GARVIN at 626-0307.