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News from 2020-2021

Posted: November 16, 2020

SY Jackson Named a National Blue Ribbon School

The APS elementary school was recognized as an Exemplary High Performing School by the U.S. Department of Education during a virtual ceremony.

2019-2020 SY Jackson Staff

2019-2020 SY Jackson Staff

SY Jackson is one of only 367 schools from 47 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Department of Defense to be named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2020. The coveted award affirms the hard work of educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. 

In a letter to SY Jackson Principal Jack Vermillion, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos wrote, "The U.S. Department of Education acknowledges your students’ success as an inspiring example of how teachers, parents, and community leaders can work together to help students prepare for what comes next. 

"I commend you for striving to do what’s right for your students and to personalize instruction to meet your students’ unique needs and strengths," DeVos continued. "Thank you for what you do to help your students realize their potential and achieve their dreams."


 Watch the National Blue Ribbon School Awards

Central, Mountain, and Pacific regions. The award ceremony took place on Friday, Nov. 13 (New Mexico schools featured at 48:58.)


Jack Vermillion, who has been the school's principal for 19 years and whose children attended SY, said his community was thrilled to learn their school had earned the Bue Ribbon Schools honor.

"We sent an email out to the community letting them know about the recognition and have received many positive emails from the community," Vermillion said. "We also announced it on the morning announcements to the students. Being that we are in a COVID situation right now, it is hard to celebrate. We will figure out something and try to include the entire SY Family. They are all part of this honor and I pointed that out to them in the email. It is everyone working together that made this possible. been nationally recognized." 

SY Jackson, located in APS Zone 4 in the Northeast Heights, has received a letter grade of "A" by the New Mexico Public Education Department since the letter grade system was established.

The school has very involved parents who volunteer on a regular basis around the school. Parent-Teacher Conferences have an attendance rate of 99%.

Close to 25% of the students attend SY Jackson because their parents requested a transfer from other schools. The school has a stable population of students with the majority being at the school from kindergarten through 5th grade.

There is very little turnover of staff, and over 85% of staff members either currently have their children at the school or had them attend in the past. 

The school motto is "One Team, One Goal: Student Success." It is something they believe encompasses their mission as well as how they work with the students and the community. It is a team effort by everyone to make sure the students are successful. General Education and Special Education also work closely together. The parents are very supportive of the school and volunteer to make sure their children are receiving an excellent education. They all want everyone who enters the building to feel that they are part of the "SY Family." 

The U.S. Education Department invites National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by the Council for American Private Education. 

The 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony will be held virtually Nov. 12 and 13. All 317 public and 50 non-public school honorees will be celebrated, and they will each receive their plaques and flags via mail.