by Bridget Henderson

We are thrilled to announce that St. James Episcopal Day School is a 2022 National Blue Ribbon School.  This is the highest award given by the United States Department of Education.   St. James, a leader among schools in this region,  demonstrates a legacy of excellence, receiving the National Blue Ribbon School Award in 2009, 2015, and in 2022. Schools are eligible for nomination every five years.  St. James has been named a Blue Ribbon School for each nomination.  We are honored to be one of only two elementary schools in the entire state to have been named a Blue Ribbon School three or more times.  Congratulations to the entire St. James community. 

This award is very important to St. James, and credit is due to all of our stakeholders: the faculty, staff, and administration; the parents; the students; the St. James Church community, and the St. James School Board.   What makes this award so meaningful right now is that it comes on the heels of a pandemic. When schools around the country were closed for a year–and in some cases longer–St. James remained open for in-person learning.   We made the decision to postpone our application for Blue Ribbon School by one year so that we could focus on the health of our community and keeping school open.  Though we had to make adjustments to schedules, walking patterns, cleaning protocols, and even additional lunch spaces, we did not waver in our commitment to educating and caring for the children.  Even amidst the many challenges, the faculty also remained committed to professional growth.  This dedication  is what happens in a Blue Ribbon School. 

The 2022 National Blue Ribbon banner on the fence on Convention Street and the National Blue Ribbon School medallion on the front of Werlein Hall  indicate a sincere commitment to excellence in education.  Being a three-time recipient of the Blue Award underscores our commitment to rich teaching and learning.  Faculty and students alike will enjoy a beautiful sense of pride at having received this award.  

The St. James community is resilient.  Families, faculty, and students have remained steadfast in their commitment to excellence, even during times of great challenge.  This honor speaks to the continued legacy of faith, community, and learning for which St. James is known, and will ensure other schools continue to look to St. James as a leader in Baton Rouge private elementary education.  What an honor indeed!