Valley school wins National Blue Ribbon Award

FRESNO, Calif.

The words "I can be anything I want to be" hold true for Centerville Elementary students who earned the National Blue Ribbon Award.

The honor recognizes Centerville as one of the top academic schools in the country out of more than 138,000 schools in the United States has won this award.

More than 40 percent of Centerville's population comes from low income homes, making it a Title 1 school.

Centerville principal Dr. Lisa Houston says they have worked hard to turn around academic scores and the learning environment.

"When I first started about 8 years ago we were 500 something, in the last 8 years we've become 855," Dr. Lisa Houston said.

"Being a Title 1 school has its own set of challenges the school has created an environment where all students are special," Aba Kumi said.

With just over 300 students this school bills itself a triple threat--becoming a state distinguished school, title one achievement school and the National Blue Ribbon Award winner in one year.

The Villegas family an example of the community the school has worked to build--where kids push themselves.

"I had to study a lot more and work hard more to get the goal I wanted to achieve," Destiny Paez said.

And parents work along with teachers.

"They focus on being a family...really one on one with the kids," Tito Villegas said.

For Centerville, this award shows an investment in the community and the future.

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