St. Mark's is awarded the National Blue Ribbon School designation
The No Child Left Behind - Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private K-12 schools that are either academically superior in their states or that demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement. St. Mark's was selected in 2005 as a National Blue Ribbon School. Barbara Clark, principal and Linda Merchant, director of curriculum traveled to Washington, D.C. to accept the award for the school.
SML Principal Dr. Barbara M. Clark: National Distinguished Principal
St. Mark's principal, Dr. Barbara M. Clark was selected as a National Distinguished Principal in 2001 by the National Associate of Elementary School Principals in cooperation with the United States Department of Education. Clark was also named the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) Principal of the Year in 2001 and an Iowa Wesleyan College Distinguished Alumna in 2002.
The National Distinguished Principals (NDP) program was established in 1984 to recognize elementary and middle-level principals who set high standards for instruction, student achievement, character, and climate for the students, families, and staffs in their learning communities. The program was based on three fundamental ideas:
Children's attitudes towards learning and their perceptions of themselves as lifelong learners are established in the beginning school years.
The scope and quality of children' educational experiences are determined primarily by the school principal, who establishes, through the important work of teachers and the support of caring parents, the character of a particular school' program.
The dedication and enthusiasm of the outstanding principals who guide children's early education experiences should be acknowledged to both show appreciation for their work as well as to allow them to serve as models for others in the field.
Criteria established by the United States Department of Education and NAESP require: The principal must demonstrate evidence of outstanding contributions to the community and to the education profession and should lead a school that:
- Is clearly committed to excellence;
- Has programs designed to meet the academic and social needs of all students;
- Has firm ties to parents and the community.