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HMSA Wins National Blue Ribbon for the Second Time

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Close-up of the award. Photo via Ms. Enger.

On September 28, the U.S Secretary of Education recognized Hawthorne Math and Science Academy as a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School. This honor was only given to four other high schools in California. To add on to HMSA’s achievements, and boasting rights, this was the second time we were recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School.

The Program, created in 1982, has recognized hundreds of schools each year for their excellence. The National Blue Ribbon award has two categories: Exemplary High Performing and Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing. HMSA was recognized in the Exemplary High Performing category, meaning that our school had the state’s highest graduation rates along with the highest achieving students in English and mathematics.

National Blue Ribbon schools are impacted with new opportunities, financial assistance, and above all, the students feel motivated and inspired for being a part of an award winning school.

Mr. Berumen was thrilled to be recognized for this award. He was extremely proud for winning twice, and said he cannot wait to see both ribbon flags flying together. Not only was the principal excited, the students were equally as proud of their school. On the day of our recognition, students were treated to ice cream during lunch to celebrate all of their hard work. Freshman Saleha A. said she “was already proud of being an aviator.” Junior Kimberly H. claims she is also proud of her school and “the recognition feels especially rewarding because of all the hard work and effort she put into her schoolwork.” Last year’s Juniors took the SBAC test that somewhat decided whether or not HMSA would win this award. As a result, multiple Seniors were delighted when they found out HMSA had won. Senior Camille T said she was “so proud of [her] school.” Another Senior, Chris K., gleefully shouted, “Wow! We did the impossible.”

Ms. Enger holding the award given by the Department of Education. Photo via Ms. Enger

Then, on November 7 and 8, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program held a ceremony to congratulate the schools who won the award. Mr. Berumen, accompanied by Ms.Enger, traveled to Washington D.C. to represent HMSA. In the ceremony, Mr. Berumen and Ms. Enger were called up to the stage to receive a plaque on behalf of all HMSA students and staff. Ms. Enger happily said that the ceremony was “thrilling and prestigious.” She then added that she was “honored to be a part of it.”

On the return of the rewarding trip, Mr. Berumen announced that he wanted students to sign their name on a large banner representing HMSA’s win. Many students signed the banner after school, almost filling up all the space on the banner. The banner is now placed outside the office in our school’s main entrance.

Congratulations to all of the HMSA staff and students for constantly putting in a ton of effort and continuously pushing to do better.

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