St. Anthony Park Elementary School greeted students with positive messages the first week of school in September. Turns out, they really are awesome. Bugle photo

St. Anthony Park Elementary School is one of eight Minnesota schools that were awarded the prestigious Blue Ribbon recognition by the U.S. Department of Education in late September.

The award annually recognizes outstanding public and nonpublic schools throughout the country for excellence in overall achievement and in reducing the achievement gap between white students and students of color.

In November, St. Anthony Park Principal Karen Duke, and recently retired principal, Ann Johnson, will travel to Washington, D.C., to accept a plaque and banner to display in the school.

In a letter to school families, Duke said, “This award is really for our staff and for all of you, who do so much to support the excellent programs here at St. Anthony Park.Every teacher, parent, family member, community member and student contributes every day to this thriving, dynamic learning community. Thank you for all you do, and congratulations.”

The other Minnesota schools that were recognized are Hoover Elementary, Mankato Public School District; Lake Marion Elementary, Lakeville Public School District; Woodland Elementary School, Alexandria Public School District; Gordon Bailey Elementary, South Washington County School District; Washington Elementary, Rochester Public School District; Wilshire Park Elementary, St. Anthony-New Brighton Schools; and Oakwood Elementary, Wayzata Public School District. Learn more about the program at

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