Kudos tonight for one of our hometown schools -- teachers, administrators, kids, and parents at Westlake Christian School are proud of their national honor. It's one they worked hard to get, and it makes them What's Right with Tampa Bay.
Westlake Christian was just named a national Blue Ribbon school, putting them in an elite class of private and public schools. The U.S. Department of Education has been honoring Blue Ribbon schools for the past 30 years. Only 50 private schools in the nation received the award this year, and Westlake is the only school in the Tampa Bay area being acknowledged.
"We have been able to put it together in a package that allows us to build children in a safe, loving, Christ-centered environment, and kids have reached their full academic potential," said principal Rick Pucci.
The students aren't a bit surprised.
"It makes it easier because there is not a lot of bullying and extra stress that I have to worry about. I just have to mainly focus on test and quizzes and all that," said Student Ashley Camm.
"We like the community here at Westlake because I know about 90 percent of all the names of all the kids here," said student Tucker McCleary
The Blue Ribbon award goes to high academically performing schools, but Principal Pucci says the school didn't just win because of their academics.
"After we qualified with these five years of test scores, we looked at the entire school program from instructional method to curriculum, activities, to our field trips, to everything we do. And the U. S. Department of Education found that our school met the highest standard in every area," Pucci said.
Pucci said it's an honor to be recognized for striving for excellence each and every day.
"What this award does lets us know and lets our community know, that what we do here every day at Westlake Christian School meets the highest standard for academics in the United States and we are very proud of that," he said.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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