St. Mary’s Schwenksville Named a National Blue Ribbon School

SCHWENKSVILLE PA – St. Mary Elementary School, 40 Spring Mount Rd. (at top), on Tuesday (Sept. 21, 2021) at 11 a.m. was named as one of 13 National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2021 in Pennsylvania, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona announced.

Other schools in the Commonwealth also named as National Blue Ribbon Schools were located in Everett, Export, Hershey, Hollidaysburg, Newtown, Paoli, Patton, Philadelphia (2), Pipersville, Waterford, and Yardley PA. Of the 13, four – including St. Mary’s – are operated by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

St. Mary’s Schwenksville a National Blue Ribbon School
St. Mary’s 2020 kindergarten students perform at their graduation celebration

This year’s honorees “demonstrate what is possible when committed educators and school leaders create vibrant, welcoming, and affirming school cultures where rich teaching and learning can flourish,” Cardona said. He praised the Blue Ribbon honorees “for working to keep students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs.”

“The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content,” a media release from the department stated. Now in its 39th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed approximately 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools.

The department recognizes all schools based on all student scores, subgroup student scores, and graduation rates. Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. Private schools are nominated by the Council for American Private Education.

Education Department profile of St. Mary’s

An Education Department webpage dedicated solely to St. Mary’s and its achievements offered this profile Tuesday to the public:

“Founded in 1961, Saint Mary Catholic School is celebrating its 60th anniversary. Historically, Saint Mary’s has been set in a community where blue- and white-collar families have rallied around a collective pursuit of academic excellence, shared faith, and community kindness. The graduates and families of Saint Mary’s seem to maintain a consistent adherence to the motto of One Family, One Faith, One Spirit.”

“Set about 30 miles from Philadelphia, the students at Saint Mary have produced exceptional scholastic achievement, with the 2020 8th grade class boasting three Neumann Scholars – the only Archdiocesan school to do so. This achievement bestows prestige upon the school on behalf of these graduates, and also earns them a lucrative four-year scholarship to an Archdiocese of Philadelphia Catholic high school.”

“Saint Mary Catholic School has also committed to celebrating their Catholic identity in myriad ways. Students maintain a spirit of pride and fidelity through a daily recitation that “Christians practice kindness and courtesy to foster respect.” Moreover, the school has worked closely with the parish to emphasize performing arts endeavors, such as the annual Christmas Pageant, Living Stations, and the Live Rosary.”

“Finally, Saint Mary’s has been committed to developing the whole child, with school support of a slate of CYO activities, as well as a more recent adoption of 1:1 technology program featuring Chromebooks for grades 3-8, and iPads for grades K-2. Agnus Dei Academy serves the PK3 and PK4 age group, with flexible and accommodating scheduling for families who desire a faith-based program.”

St. Mary’s exterior photo in 2018 from Google Picasa
Kindergarten photo supplied by the U.S. Department of Education