EMERSON, ARK. (KTVE/KARD) — Emerson Elementary school has earned the National Blue Ribbon School Award for exemplary high performance from the U.S. Department of Education. Next month, in November of 2022, Principal Jennifer Kyle and 4th-grade teacher, Presley Atkins, will travel to Washington D.C. to accept the award.

Kyle admits to being nervous and anxious as she waited for the announcement to drop after receiving notice of the school’s national award win.

“I honestly thought I would cry,” said Kyle, who has been the Emerson Elementary principal for nine years. “This is verifying all the work the teachers and staff put in all the time and what a great school we have. The teachers work so hard, and they are so deserving of this award.”

Only two Arkansas schools received the award for 2022: Emerson Elementary and Springhill Elementary in Alexander, Arkansas. In order to receive the award, the school has to first be nominated by the State of Arkansas to the U.S. Department of Education.

Kyle said their nomination was based on their high test scores for 2021, and she said the school had to maintain their high-test scores on the ACT Aspire tests for several consecutive years to remain eligible for the award.

The U.S. Department of Education says this about the award, “The coveted National Blue Ribbon School award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. The National Blue Ribbon School flag gracing an entry or flying overhead is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.”