President Honors Local Students for Their Achievement, Hard Work
By Jason Schwartz
Students from 11 Boca Raton schools have been honored with the 2015 President’s Education Award, which recognizes students throughout the country who demonstrate educational excellence and academic growth in the classroom.
Each year K-12 students compete for individual recognition from President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The 11 local schools are among 49 in the School District of Palm Beach County that earned the award, which includes a congratulatory letter signed by the President, Education Secretary and the school’s principal.
“The President’s Education Award Program recognizes achievement and hard work in the classroom while encouraging students to reach even higher,” Duncan said in a news release. “It honors students who meet high standards of academic excellence, while also rewarding students who have overcome tough obstacles to their learning.”
The Boca Raton schools are: Addison Mizner Elementary, Boca Raton High, Boca Raton Middle, Eagles Landing Middle, Hammock Pointe Elementary, J.C. Mitchell Elementary, Sandpiper Shores Elementary, Loggers Run Middle, Omni Middle, Waters Edge Elementary and West Boca Raton High.
Atlantic High and Banyan Creek Elementary in Delray Beach were also among the honorees; and three Boynton Beach schools – Poinciana Elementary STEM Magnet, Crosspointe Elementary and Freedom Shores Elementary – were winners.
The PEAP has two categories that honor students graduating from elementary, middle or high schools:
- Award for Educational Excellence recognizes students’ academic success in the classroom based on grade point average or school-specific criteria and standards, such as high motivation, initiative, integrity, intellectual depth, leadership qualities, and exceptional judgment; plus high scores on nationally normed achievement or state tests or recommendations from a teacher plus one other staff member.
- Award for Outstanding Educational Achievement recognizes students’ hard work, often in the face of special obstacles to their learning. A school’s principal determines this award based on criteria developed at the school, such as showing outstanding growth, improvement, commitment, or intellectual development in particular subjects; demonstrating achievement in the arts; and demonstrating unusual commitment to learning in academics despite various obstacles.
The program, founded in 1983, honors nearly three million students from more than 30,000 public, private and military schools from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
The program was developed to help principals recognize and honor students who have achieved high academic goals through hard work and dedication to learning, according to the organization’s website. The school’s principal is the final authority on which students receive awards and determines the number of qualifying students based on eligibility and selection requirements. There is no limit on the number of awards, as long as students meet the criteria for each award.