Letort receives National Blue Ribbon honor in D.C. ceremony

It’s official – Ann Letort Elementary School is 2019 National Blue Ribbon School!

The school was formally honored Friday, Nov. 15, during a Blue Ribbon Schools ceremony at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., near Washington, D.C.

Letort was honored, along with 361 other public and private schools, by the U.S. Department of Education.

Letort is only the fourth school in Lancaster County to receive the national honor since it was established in 1982. The award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content.

“I am so honored to be representing Letort’s staff, students, and the community as we are honored by the United States Department of Education with this prestigious award,” said Letort principal Carly McPherson. “It has been truly an inspiring celebration.”

With 312 students in kindergarten through grade six, Letort was cited as an Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing School. It is one of only 18 schools in Pennsylvania to be nominated for the award by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

The school was singled out for “whole school improvement” because reading and math test scores for all students have consistently exceeded state improvement levels over the past two to four years.

McPherson said Letort utilizes data decision-making and team meetings to identify each student’s strengths and areas in need of improvement. Teachers engage in small-group instruction to provide enrichment or remediation to ensure the academic success of each child, she said.

Penn Manor Superintendent Mike Leichliter praised the efforts of teachers at Letort.

“There is one common theme in talking with educators from Blue Ribbon Schools across the country – great schools are filled with teachers who are constantly working together to reach each child and do a better job today than they did yesterday.”

Joining Leichliter and McPherson at the ceremony was Lisa Suydam, a fourth-grade teacher at Letort. They accepted the Blue Ribbon award from Aba Kumi, Director of the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program for the U.S. Department of Education.

We could not be more proud of the students, staff and families of Letort Elementary!

From left, Carly McPherson, Aba Kumi, Lisa Suydam and Mike Leichliter.