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We are proud today to salute the teachers, students and parents of Middle Ridge Elementary School here in Newton County.

The school was named a prestigious National Blue Ribbon School by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Middle Ridge is one of nine schools in the state of Georgia, and one of only 286 in the nation, to receive this honor.

Middle Ridge won its award under the designation "Exemplary Improving," which applies to schools with at least 40 percent of their enrollment coming from what are considered to be disadvantaged backgrounds.

Middle Ridge’s improvement is another positive sign that our Newton County schools are advancing.

This is not only a great thing for our students, but also bodes well for future business growth and the attraction of families to our community who are searching for quality education for their children.

Many thanks to the current administration, led by Samantha Fuhrey, and also to the administration of former superintendent Dr. Gary Mathews, whose vision stopped the decline of education in our county and started the improvements we are seeing today.