U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced on September 30, 2014 that Reid Traditional Schools’ Valley Academy had been named a 2014 National Blue Ribbon School. Only four Arizona schools received the award this year, and RTS Valley Academy was the only charter school to do so. The award recognizes RTS Valley Academy as an exemplary high performing school. View the 2014 National Blue Ribbon School Profile.
The U.S. Department of Education honored 337 schools from across the nation at a recognition ceremony on November 10th and 11th in Washington, D.C. Mrs. Victoria Wilber, RTS Valley Academy Principal, says, “This is one of the most prestigious awards a school can attain, and I am so proud of our dedicated, talented teachers and smart, hard-working students.”
In the history of Arizona charter schools, only eight other charter schools have ever been named a National Blue Ribbon School.
Reid Traditional Schools’ Valley Academy was one of the first charter schools founded in Arizona. Since 1995, the school has consistently received the top available rating from the Arizona Department of Education. Mrs. Wilber explains, “We attribute this 20-year record of academic success to our unwavering dedication to traditional education and our team’s commitment to continuous improvement.”
Mrs. Wilber traveled to Washington D.C. in November with Mrs. Mettes, a 3rd grade teacher chosen by her peers to represent the faculty at the awards ceremony. Ms. Heidi Mitchell, CEO of Reid Traditional Schools says, “This is truly an honor, and it is a wonderful way to commemorate Valley Academy’s 20th year of excellence in education.”
UPDATE FROM WASHINGTON, D.C.: Mrs. Mettes writes: “Just heard the 2014 Teacher of the Year speak. Amazing and so inspiring. He spoke of making the classroom an “oasis of grace.” I love it. The truth is that we don’t know and can’t control what happens to children outside the walls of our school, but we can make the time they are with us a bright spot in their lives and spark curiosity and give them courage and confidence, along with a belief that they can do anything! I may not be a genius, but I can be a genius maker!”