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Code Blue for Marion Elementary

Staff writer

Marion Elementary unveiled their award as a National Blue Ribbon school on Tuesday.

The school is the first in the county, between elementary, middle, and high schools, to gain the distinction.

“We’re high achieving right now,” principal Justin Wasmuth said. “We’re extremely happy about that.”

According to Wasmuth, the award is given every five years, with a category for schools working to elevate themselves to an appropriate level, and those operating above the expected academic standard. Marion fell in the latter category.

The school was one of 349 in the country to receive the award, and one of six nominated from Kansas.

“Even if the students don’t understand it completely, they know they’ve worked hard and are part of this award,” he said.

Despite receiving the honor, the road gets tougher going forward, Wasmuth said.

“It’s a rarity to win this award again, but we know our standards aren’t going to change,” he said. “We’re going to continue to help every student achieve higher standards and higher goals.”

Advantages for students at Marion are the experienced faculty, small class numbers, and creative learning opportunities, Wasmuth said.

“We have a very experienced staff here that you wouldn’t see at a lot of bigger schools because there is a lot of turnover,” he said. “Here, we don’t have very much turnover. We have a great staff that stays.”

“We want to know our kids, know their backgrounds, and know what makes them tick,” he said. “Getting that relationship built is a priority every year.”

One of the learning methods he mentioned was computer coding for third through fifth graders.

“I’ve had many kids who, after our six weeks, tell me they love it,” Wasmuth said.

The program involves basic programming, just to introduce students to the concept, and where technology is going.

“By 2030, they’re saying 85 percent of those jobs don’t even exist yet,” Wasmuth said. “Just getting those kids to open up to it, that’s what we want.”

Last modified Oct. 4, 2018

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