IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WZMQ) – In a remarkable celebration of academic excellence, the Norway-Vulcan Area School District in Dickinson County achieved the prestigious honor of being knighted with the National Blue Ribbon Award.
Superintendent Lou Sterigerwald, along with 4th Grade Teacher Mary Beth Paul, stood at the forefront of this extraordinary achievement.
The Norway Knights demonstrated exceptional prowess in the realm of academics, earning the distinguished title from the U.S. Department of Education at the elementary level. With a commitment to maintaining a high standard of achievement across all grades, Superintendent Steigerwald emphasized the importance of ensuring that their students excelled not only in early childhood, but also as they journeyed into middle school, high school, and beyond.
Mary Beth Paul, a dedicated 4th-grade teacher, shared her enthusiasm for the school’s continued commitment to excellence, stating, “We’re going to Washington D.C., so Norway-Vulcan Area Schools, we’re very proud.”
As a testament to the school’s unity and shared success, teachers cast their votes to select a colleague who would accept the prestigious award on behalf of the school, and Ms. Paul was selected on behalf of the teachers.
With Paul and the elementary principal poised to attend the National Award Recognition Ceremony in Washington D.C., students will bid a temporary farewell to their beloved Ms. Paul, just as the U.P.’s biggest holiday, deer season, approaches… Paul humorously remarked, “and usually my favorite sub, my mother is the sub, but we have another teacher who is an avid hunter, and he plans ahead of time, so she’s in that room, but I might have to get her over here.”
The Norway Knights’ consistent and leading progress in state test scores, spanning nearly a dozen categories, was attributed to new teacher-driven resources, alongside consistent and reliable staffing. Ready-Math has become the cornerstone of arithmetic study, while Wonders stands as the preferred choice for enhancing literacy.
Faculty members eagerly set their sights on replicating this level of achievement for their middle school and high school students, as Steigerwald stated, “This year, in fact, we did even better, so we’re really happy about that, and we hope to be able to continue that in years to come.”
With excitement in the air, and anticipation for their trip to Washington, D.C., Mary Beth Paul summed up the sentiment of the school community, saying, “I’m so excited, I can’t wait to see Washington, D.C.” The school extended its gratitude to families and all involved, echoing the sentiment of “Keep up the great work families, and thank you.”
In a heartfelt gesture, Paul expressed her appreciation to her diligent fourth-graders, who were wholeheartedly engaged in their new Ready-Math assignments. The Norway Knights have truly demonstrated that with dedication, teamwork, and innovative teaching resources, academic excellence can be a shining beacon of success.
Houghton-Portage Township School District also grabbed a National Blue Ribbon Award today, totaling 3 Upper Peninsula schools in history to be awarded the honor since the 1980’s. Only a handful of schools out of over a hundred thousand schools nationwide are given the award, adding to the momentousness of both schools’ grand achievements.