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Smith and Curtsinger Teams Accept Blue Ribbon Awards (November, 2006)




Representatives of Smith and Curtsinger Elementary Schools attended the National Blue Ribbon Awards Ceremony and presentations November 9 and 10th in Washington D.C. The award ceremony was the culmination of several weeks of celebration since the official notice the schools had been selected.

Curtsinger, opened in 1995, and Smith, opened in 1997, met the rigorous assessment criteria set by the No Child Left Behind program. The criteria for selections are at least 40 percent of students from disadvantaged backgrounds dramatically improve student performance or if the school scored in the top 10 percent on state assessments. Of schools submitted by each state, at least one-third must meet the first criterion. Curtsinger and Smith both met the criteria of scoring in the top 10 percent of state assessments.

“It was a really rewarding experience,” Kimball said. “We were one of 24 schools asked to present. After the presentation by our teacher, Shannon Acosta, a school from New York tried to recruit her!”

Acosta gave a power point presentation about the importance of communication and how teachers at Smith use paraphrasing and active listening to communicate with each other, students and parents. Paraphrasing, creatively and politely restating what you have just heard to clarify, helps ensure that the listener has understood the statement and tells the speaker that they have been understood. The presentation stressed that good manners, proper body language and understanding how to deliver and accept information is essential to having a successful school.

Kimball also said that he was personally very moved by being able to visit the various war memorials around Washington on Veterans Day.

Ricky Beeler, physical education teacher at Curtsinger, said that he couldn’t get over the fact that Frisco had two schools being named Blue Ribbon in the same year. “Some times you would meet people who were from two schools near each other in the same state but we were so proud to have two schools from the same district.” Other Texas districts had multiple winners, as well.

Debra Carroll-Boyce and J’Lynn Anderson shared the joy of attending the awards ceremony as Curtsinger principals. Boyce opened the school in 1995 and Anderson served as Assistant Principal. Last May, Boyce retired and Anderson, who had since opened Bright Elementary as principal, was transferred back to Curtsinger. The two women shared the excitement of the Blue Ribbon designation.

“I was so proud and honored to represent Curtsinger Elementary at the Blue Ribbon Award ceremony for this prestigious award. In addition to the official ceremony, we were so fortunate to have the opportunity to visit our nation's capitol and witness the changing of the guards at Arlington Memorial Cemetery,” said Anderson.

The faculty, students and parents at Curtsinger will officially celebrate this accomplishment on November 28 when Joe Jaynes, Collin County Commissioner, will present the school with a proclamation. From this year on, November 28 will be proclaimed as "Curtsinger Day" in honor of the Blue Ribbon Award.

The two schools were two of 26 Texas schools designated as Blue Ribbon schools by the U.S. Department of Education. Both schools have been awarded a plaque and flag to proclaim their status as Blue Ribbon Schools.