Newton County Theme School (NCTS) at Ficquett was officially recognized as a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School at a special ceremony in Washington, D.C. on November 7th. The NCTS at Ficquett principal Dr. Naomi Cobb, assistant principals Dr. JoAnna Fish and Ms. Ashante Everett, and Newton County School Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey attended the ceremony to represent the school and district.
“Congratulations to the students, teachers, staff and leaders of Newton County Theme School at Ficquett,” said Fuhrey. “It was an absolute honor to accept the National Blue Ribbon Award on behalf of those whose hard work, focus and dedication led to this fantastic recognition. To be identified as one of seven public schools in Georgia to receive this distinguished honor is incredible. I am so proud of the work of everyone affiliated with Newton County Theme School at Ficquett.”
National Blue Ribbon Schools are on education’s cutting edge, pioneering innovative educational practices from professional learning communities and project-based learning to social and emotional learning and positive behavior systems. Schools are nominated by the state department of education and then complete a comprehensive application about school practices. Schools may be nominated as Exemplary High Performing, among the top schools in a state, or Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing, schools making the fastest progress in their state in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. NCTS at Ficquett earned Blue Ribbon status in the “Exemplary High-Performing Schools” category.
“To be named a National Blue Ribbon School is indeed an honor and I feel privileged to be a part of a school such as this,” said Dr. Naomi Cobb, principal of NCTS at Ficquett. “Although this award was based on last year’s performance, it is actually a culmination of several years of dedication and hard work. Newton County Theme School has developed from two separate campuses (elementary and middle) into one, fully functioning kindergarten through eighth grade campus over the course of the last seven years. Parents, teachers, administrators and county office personnel have forged through new territory and have come together to make decisions and develop procedures that are very different from the traditional elementary or middle school setting. This award is a validation of that dedication and hard work. It just shows what can be accomplished when schools and families truly work together.”
While at the annual National Blue Ribbon Schools recognition ceremony, school administrators had the opportunity to attend sessions lead by leading educators from across the nation, including Mr. John B. King, Jr., U.S. Secretary of Education; Russell Quaglia, founder of the Teacher Voice & Aspirations International Center; Thomas Dodd, 2017 National Principal of the Year; and Sean McComb, 2014 National Teacher of the Year.