Brownsville ISD’s Ortiz Elementary recognized as National Blue Ribbon School

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Students at Solomon P. Ortiz Elementary School in Brownsville engage in science. The Brownsville Independent School District campus was named a National Blue Ribbon School. (Courtesy: Brownsville ISD)

Solomon P. Ortiz Elementary School in Brownsville is among 29 schools in Texas and 353 across the country being recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as National Blue Ribbon Schools.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona made the announcement Tuesday, saying the 2023 honorees exemplify what it means to raise the bar in education.

The National Blue Ribbon School Award is the only national recognition given by the Department of Education. Ortiz, which is among more than 30 elementary schools in the Brownsville Independent School District, was recognized as an exemplary high performing school.

“The leaders, educators, and staff at our National Blue Ribbon Schools continually inspire me with their dedication to fostering academic excellence and building positive school cultures that support students of all backgrounds to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.” Cardona stated in the announcement.

A page on the federal agency’s website profiles Ortiz, which is named after former U.S. Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz.

“Since its inception, Ortiz has developed an optimistic school climate that impacts everything we do. Our staff is highly supportive and engages students in extraordinary academic achievement. At Ortiz, challenges are seen as opportunities to develop character, good habits, flexibility, and academic values that promote outstanding leadership skills. Our teachers have mastered a culture of collaboration and team building. Through this approach, we ensure that the diverse needs of all our students are successfully met,” the profile states.

“We strongly believe that academics is not the only component necessary for success. Our various extracurricular activities promote and nurture our students’ social-emotional needs as well as making school a fun place to learn. We believe a positive school climate builds character, so our students are equipped with the rock-solid knowledge and skills necessary to become successful leaders in our community,” it says.

National Blue Ribbon Schools serve as models of effective and innovative school practices for state and district educators and other schools throughout the nation.

Ortiz officials will receive the award during a ceremony in November in Washington, D.C., where they will be awarded a National Blue Ribbon School flag, a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.