Sonoma County Office of Education

Two Schools Named Gold Ribbon Schools

04/13/2016 - Gold Ribbon County Superintendent Steve Herrington extended his congratulations to two Sonoma County primary schools that were named 2016 California Gold Ribbon Schools today: Strawberry School in Bennett Valley Union Elementary District, and Gravenstein Elementary School in Gravenstein Union School District.

These schools were among 770 elementary schools that received state recognition. The awards recognize schools that have made significant strides implementing the new standards for California schools.

The California Gold Ribbon Schools Award was created to honor schools in place of the California Distinguished Schools Program, which is on hiatus while California creates new assessment and accountability systems. Nearly 6,000 elementary schools were eligible to apply this year. Schools applied for the award based on a model program or practice their school has adopted that includes standards-based activities, projects, strategies, and practices that can be replicated by other local educational agencies. The award recognized middle and high schools last year.

“These schools shine as bright beacons for others, putting forth an exemplary effort to ensure that every student is ready for 21st century college and careers," said State Superintendent for Public Instruction Tom Torlakson in announcing the awards. “California teachers are developing an education model for the nation, training the students of today to be the problem-solvers, inventors, and pioneers of tomorrow.”

It was Gravenstein Elementary's first time receiving that specific award. "It is very exciting," said Linda LaMarre, principal at the 485-student, K-5 school. "I'm very proud of the staff. They're the number one reason we're getting this honor." She added that an excellent collaboration between the school board and staff made their success possible. "Through that collaboration we have been able to develop rigorous academics while including the arts and being very responsive to the community's needs."

Strawberry School also celebrated its first Gold Ribbon award, though it has received the Distinguished School award three times in the past, according to SCOE records.

"I am very pleased that the synergistic team of teachers, classified staff, parents, school foundations, administration, and students that comprises our school community will receive this significant recognition for the dedicated work that they perform for the achievement of our educational goals — day after day and year after year," said Principal Scott Humble. "One of our best attributes is that we collaborate to try to continually improve. Our guide words are Scholarship—diligent work to assure that students acquire skills and knowledge for the success of themselves and our society, Mentorship—careful and thoughtful provision of assistance and guidance matched to student needs, and Friendship—the provision of opportunities to have engaging and productive and friendly interactions with each other. "

More information can be found on the state Gold Ribbon website.

Steve Herrington, Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools: | (707) 524-2603
Linda LaMarre, Principal, Gravenstein Elementary: | (707) 823-7008
Scott Humble, Principal, Strawberry School: | (707) 526-4433 x331