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Riverview Elementary named 2021 National Blue Ribbon school
Riverview Elementary School in Dawson County was recently recognized as a Title I Distinguished School for the third year in a row. - photo by Erica Jones

Riverview Elementary School was one of nine schools in Georgia to be named a 2021 National Blue Ribbon school by the United States Department of Education. 

According to the U.S. DOE, “affirms the hard work of educators and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content.”

This is the 39th year that the award has been given to over 9,000 schools across the country. 

“This year’s cohort of honorees demonstrates what is possible when committed educators and school leaders create vibrant, welcoming, and affirming school cultures where rich teaching and learning can flourish,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said. 

According to the National Blue Ribbon Schools website, their SPARK program stuck out during the decision making process. 

Riverview is a Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports school and the development of this “created an environment where students are rewarded for perseverance, acknowledged for accomplishments, and encouraged to do their best.”

The energy that comes from this process is what Riverview began referring to as SPARK, or Service, Pride, Attitude, Respect and Kindness. 

“One emphasis of our SPARK program is respect and consideration for individual differences,” the release on the National Blue Ribbon website said. “Seeing our students learn to love and respect those different from them and grow into advocates for others is one of the most rewarding parts of working at Riverview.”

“We believe that our SPARK will grow brighter and brighter as our students and staff continue to commit themselves to develop empathy and promote acceptance.”

Riverview principal Adam Maroney said in a phone interview he believes the school handles their PBIS initiative with “such fidelity that it makes it unique for our school.”

“I’m very excited about being named a National Blue Ribbon School for 2021,” Maroney said. “I think it's a fantastic honor for our student staff and community as a whole to be recognized on the national stage. It’s really a testament to the work we do here at Riverview.”