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Eight National Blue Ribbon Schools Named

 Media Contacts   - GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 463-1487,   - Chad Colby, U.S. Department of Education,   - To speak to officials from the Blue Ribbon Schools, please follow local district media protocol.       September 9, 2008  – U .S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings today named eight Georgia public schools as 2008 No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Schools. Secretary Spellings made the announcement today at Atlanta's F.L. Stanton Elementary School with State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox.     "These are eight schools that are leading the way in achievement and improvement," said Superintendent Cox. "In Georgia, we know how great these schools are. Now, the whole country knows it too."     The No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Schools award distinguishes and honors schools for helping students achieve at very high levels and for making significant progress in closing the achievement gap.     “These Blue Ribbon Schools are an example of what teachers and students can achieve,” Secretary Spellings said.     Blue Ribbon Schools are chosen in one of three categories ( see the full criteria descriptions ):     -  TOP 10% : Schools that scored in the top 10 percent in student achievement.     -  TOP 10% : (40% Disadvantaged): Schools that scored in the top 10 percent in student achievement AND have at least 40 percent of its students considered economically disadvantaged.     -  GREATEST GAINS : Schools with at least 40 percent economically disadvantaged students that have dramatically improved student achievement to high levels.  Representatives from these schools are invited to attend an Awards Ceremony hosted by the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, DC on October 20 & 21.  For more information on the Blue Ribbon School program, go to the U.S. Department of Education's Website.   The Eight National Blue Ribbon Schools are:    TOP 10% (40% Disadvantaged)   East Central Elementary School  Rome City Schools  Tonya Wood, Principal   Centralhatchee Elementary School, Franklin  Heard County Schools  Carol Thomas, Principal    GREATEST GAINS   Appling County Primary, Baxley  Appling County  Scarlett Copeland, Principal   F.L. Stanton Elementary, Atlanta  Atlanta Public Schools  Dr. Marlo Barber, Principal   Futral Road Elementary School, Griffin  Griffin-Spalding County  Larry Jones, Jr. Principal    TOP 10%   Mabry Middle School, Marietta  Cobb County Schools  Merrilee Heflin, Principal   Livsey Elementary School, Tucker  DeKalb County Schools  Dr. Melanie Castelle, Principal   Milton High School, Milton  Fulton County Schools  Mr. Ronald Tesch, Principal    PRIVATE SCHOOLS   Superintendent Cox also congratulated one Georgia private school, Torah Day School of Atlanta, that was chosen for Blue Ribbon designation. The criteria for private schools is different and can be viewed at   MORE INFORMATION   -  U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Program Website