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Waurika Elementary Hangs Blue Ribbon Banner

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WAURIKA, Okla_After months of waiting, Waurika Elementary finally got to display their banner proclaiming them a Blue Ribbon School on Friday.

On Monday, Principal Cody Simmons made a trip to Washington DC where he was presented with a plaque and the banner. Students watched their principal on a live feed over the Internet, but today was the first opportunity for them to see the fruits of their labor in person.

Worlds like "awesome" and "extremely exciting" were just a couple of the things heard coming out of students' and teachers' mouths Friday. Everyone was so quick to give someone else the credit for the school's success, so it's no wonder that they've received this high honor.

Students and teachers packed into the gym at Waurika Elementary to watch their Blue Ribbon Banner get raised in the rafters.

Pre-K Teacher, Stephanie Reynolds said, "We do it for the kids, and that's why we're here. And we do this every day whether we got the award or not. We are blue ribbon whether we got it or not."

And if you ask them what sets them apart, 4th Grade Teacher Angela Rouse will tell you.

"We are a family. We work together. We are very united. We can depend on each other for ideas, for support," Rouse said.

It would be easy to let the pressure of this new honor get to them, but they're just using it as motivation.

"It makes you want to work harder. But it also gives you the understanding that what you're doing, it's working. The things we're doing every day, they're working, " said Rouse.

And at the end of the day, after all the hard work and months of preparation, it's the looks on the students' faces that really make it all worth it.

5th Grader, Kyson Hoskins said with a smile, "I go to Waurika Elementary, and we're a Blue Ribbon School!"

Principal Cody Simmons said they've already been contacted by numerous schools with congratulations and asking for the opportunity to come see how they make it work. He said the door is open, and he looks forward to helping other educators and learning from them as well.

This award is extra special, teachers say, because it gives an opportunity to show the rest of the country that even in a rural community it is possible to give children a Blue Ribbon education.

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