BECKLEY, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice spoke with students, teachers, and administrators at Hollywood Elementary School near Beckley on Wednesday, during a ceremony to recognize the school for being selected as a 2019 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education.
The governor was joined by West Virginia Department of Education officials and members of the Raleigh County Board of Education to congratulate the school for being one of only three in West Virginia to receive the award. During his remarks, Justice cited the accomplishments of his daughter, a Hollywood Elementary alum, as he offered words of encouragement to the students.
“Jill grew up right up the road from you. She ends up a doctor, and she also went to college on a full basketball scholarship. You just think about that and think what you can do,” he said.
Justice said the achievement was a direct reflection of teachers and administrators working in tandem to encourage the critical thinking skills necessary for young minds to develop and adapt in a complex world.
“Right here, at this school, you’re instilling the right confidence in our kids, and they’re giving their schoolwork everything they’ve got all the time. It’s really positive stuff,” he said.
The national recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
Hollywood Elementary, Greenmont Elementary in Wood County and West Teays Elementary in Putnam County will represent West Virginia during an awards ceremony with U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on Nov. 14 and 15 in Washington, D.C.
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program is in its 37th year and has recognized more than 9,000 schools since its inception. More than 360 schools nationwide were chosen for the award this year.