Department of Education has designated 314 schools across the nation as "Blue
Ribbon Schools." Three of them are in Alaska:
Glennallen Elementary, Larson Elementary in Wasilla and North Star Elementary
here in Kodiak.
Ribbon program recognizes schools in two categories. One category is for those
schools that score in the top ten percent of state assessments in language arts
and math. The second category is for the schools that show dramatic improvement
in those subjects and whose student body includes at least 40 percent
disadvantaged students as indicated by disability, economic status, or limited
proficiency in English. North Star and the other Alaska schools won distinction in the second
Janel Keplinger is the principal of North Star Elementary.
And while she wasn't principal during the period for which the school is being
honored, she's been there since the beginning.
KMXT's Diana Gish asked her how she felt about the school's
Blue Ribbon status:
-- (North Star Blue Ribn "I'm estatic......we do
at North Star.")
LeDoux is the State Commissioner of Education. He served as North
Star's principal for 10 years. He spoke with Diana Gish from his office in Juneau:
-- (North Star Blue Ribn 2 "Well, I was......not an event.")
Elementary is a Kindergarten to 5th grade school of 215 students
with a staff of 48. The school works with the "Response to Intervention" model
approach that's employed around the nation as a way to close the gap between
academically at risk students and their peers.