McBride Elementary School receives Blue Ribbon award

Temeka Shingles, a second-grade teacher at McBride Elementary School, assists her students with a class assignment. (Photo Credit: Ms. Danielle Davis (Benning))

Temeka Shingles, a second-grade teacher at McBride Elementary School, assists her students with a class assignment. (Photo Credit: Danielle Davis)

By Danielle Davis, Bayonet & Saber /

FORT BENNING, Ga., (Oct. 12, 2016) — Each year the U.S. Department of Education recognizes select public and private schools with the National Blue Ribbon award.

This year Fort Benning’s own McBride Elementary School was named a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School.

According to the U.S. Department of Education’s website, National Blue Ribbon schools are chosen based on their overall academic excellence and the progress they make in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

John B. King, U.S. Secretary of Education, announced Sept. 28 which schools had been chosen. McBride is one of the 279 public and 50 private schools that earned the distinction.

Phyllis Parker, the principal of McBride Elementary School, and Melanie Keating, the school’s educational technologist, will travel to Arlington, Virginia in November to receive the award.

Parker explained that getting the award was five years in the making. “During the application process, schools are looked at over a five-year period. It was from 2010 to 2015.”

“We had to explain how the school is run, how professional development is addressed and how we meet the needs of the students in all grade levels and the community,” added Keating.

Parker described the National Blue Ribbon award as “the ultimate in recognition for any school.”

“It truly validates your hard work, what you come in here and do every day,” added Margaret Koger, the school’s gifted education teacher. “We have high standards for ourselves, the children and our families.”

“McBride’s motto is we excel. As teachers we try our best to get better and better. We push our kids to excel as well so that as a team we all excel,” said Heather King Ryan, the ESL teacher and Continuous School Improvement chair.

Looking ahead, Keating explained that everyone at McBride would continue moving forward although now it will be in a new building. “The teachers are working hard to make this new environment work,” she said.

“This type of environment lends itself to collaboration,” said Parker. “In some instances, it’s easier. We have teams that work together, offer each other assistance.”

“In kindergarten, we think of it as the students getting the best of all of us,” added Laurie Shinault, a kindergarten teacher. “That’s why we’re here.”

“We all have our own unique way of communicating something,” said Christa Rodriguez, also a kindergarten teacher.

Students are able to connect what is taught to them from one teacher to the next, she continued.

McBride Elementary School hopes to celebrate its National Blue Ribbon School award sometime in November.

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