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Middle Ridge celebrates Blue Ribbon
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Students, faculty and staff participated Wednesday in a school-wide celebration of Middle Ridge Elementary School’s selection as a 2013 National Blue Ribbon School.

Eastside High School’s band performed as students and staff walked through the schools’ breezeway into the gym for the celebratory program.

State School Superintendent John Barge, Covington City Councilman Chris Smith, Newton County Sheriff Ezell Brown, Newton County Board of Education Chairwoman Abigail Coggin, and Lee Peck, NCSS director of elementary curriculum and instruction and professional development, were among special guests who recognized the schools’ achievement.

MRES Principal Michael Forehand and former principals Alan Satterfield and Karen Crowder were acknowledged for their contributions and hard work at the school over the past several years. Barge said Forehand will be honored by the U.S. Department of Education at a recognition ceremony in Washington, D.C., in November, with a plaque and a National Blue Ribbon School flag. The Blue Ribbon Schools program honors schools where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made. Middle Ridge earned its designation in the “Exemplary Improving” category, in which schools that have at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds demonstrate progress in improving student achievement levels, as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests.