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St. Petersburg Collegiate High School hosts Blue Ribbon celebration 2/1/2018 Marilyn Shaw

On Wednesday, Jan. 31, St. Petersburg Collegiate High School celebrated its 2017 National Blue Ribbon Award. U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recognized SPCHS as an Exemplary High Performing School for 2017 at an awards ceremony in November. The award recognizes the school for being among the state’s highest performing schools, as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests.

At the celebration, St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus Provost Jamelle Conner opened the program by welcoming more than 75 parents, students and community leaders. SPCHS Principal Starla Metz thanked attendees and shared information about Blue Ribbon Award. SPC President Dr. Tonjua Williams offered remarks and acknowledged the great accomplishments of the students.

Dr. Tonjua Williams, SPC President

“I’m privileged to have an opportunity to work with you,” said Williams. “We’re so proud of you, and we look forward to seeing the work you’ll be doing in the future.”

SPCHS Alum Jessica Baugher said she felt supported and encouraged throughout her time at the school.

“You’re never left alone, which is an amazing part about this program,” said Baugher. “And through my years at St. Petersburg Collegiate High School, I’ve had endless opportunities for leadership.

SPCHS Alum Jessica Baugher


SPCHS Senior Desmond Douglas said he has grown through the support he has found at SPCHS.  “It takes a village to raise a child, but also a collegiate student,” said Douglas.


SPCHS Senior Desmond Douglass

“One thing I learned is that the students love to learn and the teachers love to teach. Gaining a higher level of responsibility and independence is what I’ve gained the most from this program.”

Closing the program, Catherine Kennedy, AVP of Academic Affairs and Partnership, read the proclamation from the City of St. Petersburg designating January 31, 2018 as SPCHS National Blue Ribbon Day.

Since 1982, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program award recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students either achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap.

The honorary schools are recognized in one of two performance categories: Exemplary High Performing Schools and/or Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates.

Since 2004, SPCHS has earned an “A” rating each year from the state of Florida. In 2016, Newsweek named them the 55th best high school in America – only one of 10 in Florida to make the list, SPCHS held the second ranking in the state.

This story first appeared the the SPC Blue and White.

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