Blue Valley receives prestigious award for the first time since 1988

Meghan Kennedy, Staff Writer

Friday, Sept. 7, Principal Scott Bacon announced Blue Valley was awarded as a Blue Ribbon School.
Out of 269 schools across the country, only 29 public high schools received this honor.
Bacon said the award is validation of moving towards the school’s dream of being the best in the country.
“Our challenge is to dream bigger and do what we do best — better than we’ve ever done before,” he said. “It’s a very honorable tribute to our school community—it’s something we are very excited about. I think it is the affirmation of the hard work everyone has put in. At the same time, we need to challenge ourselves to be better than we are.”
Director of Communications Kristi McNerlin said this award is a reflection of the effect the staff and community have on the school.
“The Blue Ribbon Award is one of the highest awards a high school can receive,” she said. “When a school receives this award, you know that it speaks for the quality of education that school provides. Our board and administration are very proud of the accomplishment of Blue Valley High.”
This is the second time BV has earned the award. It was named a Blue Ribbon school back in 1988-89 and now this year.
“It’s very unique,” he said. “If you go back over the history of Blue Ribbon Awards, there’s really only eight or nine high schools in the state of Kansas to earn that distinction. It’s very difficult to earn it in the first place, but to earn it for a second time, that’s just even more unique.”
This year, no other schools in the BV district received this recognition.
Aside from academics, Bacon also said the school atmosphere has changed over the years.
“I like to think even beyond academics, about the culture of our school, my hope would be we treat each other better than we used to,” he said. “The entire school community has progressed and we want to continue to do that. We’re not perfect and we obviously have areas we can continue to grow in, but I think over time, this symbolizes that we need to keep trying to get better and better.”
McNerlin’s son, senior Ryan McNerlin, attends BV.
“As a parent, it feels great to know my children are going to a school in one of the best school districts in the nation,” she said. “I know they’re getting a great education, and they are in a great environment. As a parent, I’m a huge fan of Blue Valley High, but I am also a huge fan of all of our schools. I know Blue Valley is a special place, and it has been a tremendous experience for [my children]. I am very happy with the education they are receiving.”
McNerlin said she is looking forward to celebrating with the BV students and staff.
“This is an award that speaks so highly of the schools we have in Blue Valley,” she said. “When people hear that, it is just validation of the quality we have in our schools. People are very happy and congratulatory towards the students and staff of Blue Valley High.”
Bacon said winning the award takes a team effort.
“I’m just really, really proud of our staff, students and the parental community,” he said. “Something like this doesn’t just happen. It takes everybody and I think the reason we’re receiving it is because the students have worked very hard to perform to the best of their ability. I think our staff is the hardest working staff anywhere, and the parental support is the best you’re going to find. And here we are.”