Conners Emerson Principal Barbara Neilly, left, was congratulated by Sen. Susan Collins last week for winning National Blue Ribbon School recognition. At right is Conners Emerson music teacher Rebecca Edmondson. PHOTO COURTESY OF SUSAN COLLINS

Neilly, Edmondson go to Washington



WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Susan Collins met with Conners Emerson School Principal Barbara Neilly and teacher Rebecca Edmondson in her office recently to congratulate them on the school’s National Blue Ribbon School award.

Conners Emerson School is one of only three Maine schools — and one of only 342 public and private schools nationwide — to be recognized for this achievement in 2017. Conners Emerson School was first named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2004.

“In order to be nominated a second time, you actually have to do more than the first time,” Neilly said.

Edmondson said she accompanied Neilly to Washington, D.C. after she was selected at random from all Conners Emerson faculty members.

“It was an honor to represent Conners Emerson School and all of the people who made this possible,” Edmondson said. “It was really quite lovely.”

Officials from all the award-winning schools were recognized in a ceremony following remarks from U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

“Since first being named a National Blue Ribbon School 13 years ago, educators and staff at Conners Emerson School have deepened and expanded standards-based teaching and learning,” Collins said in a statement. “This Blue Ribbon Award is a tribute not only to the students, but also to the administrators, teachers, staff and parents. I congratulate the entire Bar Harbor community for this well-deserved recognition.”

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has honored public and private elementary, middle and high schools for 35 years. Blue Ribbon schools are recognized for overall academic excellence or for making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap.

A flag and a plaque were awarded to the school. The plaque will be displayed in the library and the flag will either be hung in the cafeteria or flown outside on the flagpole.

“Hats off to the staff and the students,” Neilly said. “Without the community support, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.”

Samuel Shepherd

Samuel Shepherd

Samuel Shepherd is a University of Maine graduate and a former Bar Harbor reporter for the Mount Desert Islander.
Samuel Shepherd

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