Blue Ribbons an honor for county

Published 4:52 pm Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Last week Oak Mountain High School and Our Lady of the Valley Catholic School were named National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education. That designation puts the schools in an elite group with only 304 schools across the nation. The honor shouldn’t come as a surprise to local residents. Oak Mountain also made the lists of top American high schools in both Newsweek magazine and The Washington Post, and OLV won a Blue Ribbon in 1998.

But the length of time it took Oak Mountain to reach the top is surprisingly short. The school is currently in its 13th year of existence.

Being named a Blue Ribbon School is no accident. Oak Mountain appointed a team to apply for the award, which was a month-long process.

Oak Mountain’s award is a good reminder to the county that success takes hard work. The congratulations list for such an achievement is long, as Oak Mountain principal Joan Doyle pointed out at a Shelby County Board of Education meeting on Sept. 16.

“This is probably the most coveted award in education, and it’s a collaborative effort,” she said.

We’d like to congratulate the staff and students at Oak Mountain and OLV for their tremendous achievement. We’d also like to thank the community and the board of education for supporting and challenging the school’s faculty and students to do their best. Of course, the teachers at OMHS are a huge asset to Shelby County and a big reason why the school has received so many honors in recent years.

“I’m so proud of them, and they deserve all the credit in the world,” Doyle said. “They’re experts in their fields, but they also care about the kids and that’s the most important thing.”