The Manhasset Secondary School celebrated their National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award on Monday, Dec. 9. Every student and staff member were given a shirt, designed by the students, in the morning that commemorated the honor.
“They are beautiful shirts,” Superintendent Dr. Vincent Butera said, who also estimated that 400 to 500 students wore the shirt.
At the end of the day, administrators, staff, the board of education and elected officials came together in the school’s auditorium for a final pat-on-the-back.
“It was an opportunity to really celebrate the award with all of the people that really impacted the school district and our community,” Butera said. “[The award] is a recognition of the entire community and not any individual so we thought it was most important to share this with everyone.”
Manhasset Secondary School is one of just 312 public and 50 private schools in the nation to receive the award this year. The National Blue Ribbon Schools program recognizes public and private elementary, middle and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Every school is only allowed to be nominated every five years so the Manhasset Secondary School won’t be eligible again until 2024.
Recently, Butera, Principal Dr. Dean Schlanger and teacher Gary Chen went down to Washington, D.C. to receive the award and also visit the White House.
“[The trip] was exceptional,” Butera said. “We were honored to be there, the national blue ribbon committee really made the school districts feel special being down there. It was a thrill for us.”
At the ceremony after school, Schlanger and Butera told the audience about their trip with a Chen with comical powerpoint, but they also stressed the importance of the people that provide even the opportunity for such an award to be bestowed to the school district.
“The entire Manhasset community has so much to be proud of, it’s a remarkable accomplishment,” Schlanger said. “My words of thanks are to each and every one of you for what you do for our students and our community to make it what it really is. It all starts with the students, they come in each and every day ready to give it their best, and in return our teacher, substitute teachers and faculty are at the forefront meeting kids, greeting and education them.”