GECA Principal, Sonia Flores, has received the 2021 Terrel H. Bell award for outstanding school leadership from the U.S. Department of Education. Ms. Flores is one of eight recipients chosen from the 2021 cohort of National Blue Ribbon Schools. GECA was named a National Blue Ribbon School on September 21, 2021. She began her career in the Gilroy Unified School District as an English teacher at Gilroy High School. She joined the GECA staff in its third year of operation as a teacher and now is serving in her eighth year as principal. GECA was founded in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and is located on the Gavilan College campus. GECA students graduate with a high school diploma and an associates degree or two years of close to 97% of all graduates continue with their college education after graduation.
As a principal, Ms. Flores wants to ensure students and staff discover and reach “their highest personal and academic potential by becoming responsible citizens within their community.” She has a clear vision to support students in achieving their maximum potential by attaining the skills, both personal and academic, to be successful beyond college and career. Ms. Flores will be honored during the National Blue Ribbon Schools awards ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021.
For the full press release from the U.S. Department of Education, continue reading below:
U.S. Secretary of Education Announces Recipients of the 2021 Terrel H. Bell Awards for Outstanding School Leadership
Contact: Press Office
(202) 401-1576 or firstname.lastname@example.org
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel A. Cardona today announced the recipients of the Terrel H. Bell Award for Outstanding School Leadership for 2021. Eight school leaders from the 2021 cohort of National Blue Ribbon Schools will be honored during the National Blue Ribbon Schools awards ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021.
“Bell awardees are truly extraordinary leaders,” Secretary Cardona said. “Being chosen for this distinction puts school leaders in special company. As a former principal, I know how much time and energy school leaders devote to caring for their school communities and preparing students for success. Over the last 18 months, in the face of unprecedented circumstances, these school leaders have found creative ways to protect, nurture, and engage children, families, and school staff. Bell awardees have worked tirelessly, investing every ounce of their energy and expertise in their schools and students. Congratulations on this special recognition.”
Named for the second U.S. Secretary of Education, Terrel H. Bell, the Bell Award honors school leaders who are committed to education as a powerful and liberating force in people’s lives. The award is part of the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. Principals are nominated by their school communities during the final stages of the National Blue Ribbon Schools application process.
The U.S. Department of Education, together with the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the Association for Middle Level Education, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, present the Bell Awards to principals of National Blue Ribbon Schools for their outstanding work and the vital role they play in guiding their students and schools to excellence, frequently under challenging circumstances.
The 2021 recipients are:
- AZ – Tucson – Mary J. Anderson, Jacob C. Fruchthendler Elementary School.
- CA – Costa Mesa – Christy Flores, Maude B. Davis Elementary School.
- CA – Gilroy – Sonia Anna Flores, Dr. TJ Owens Gilroy Early College Academy.
- LA – New Orleans – Mardele Simmons Early, Lake Forest Elementary Charter School.
- MA – Weston – John Robert Gibbons, Weston Middle School.
- NM – Mesquite – Angela Marie Silvaggio, Mesquite Elementary School.
- NY – Brooklyn – Elisa Brown, PS 249 - The Caton School.
- TX – Dickinson – Sophia Acevedo, Calder Road Elementary School.
To learn more about the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program and the Terrel H. Bell Awards, click here.
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