Anita Elementary School receives “Blue Ribbon” Award


September 16th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The U.S. Department of Education has named 305 schools as 2011 National Blue Ribbon Schools based on their overall academic excellence or for their success in closing achievement gaps. Included among them is the Anita Elementary School, now known as the CAM North Elementary School. Principal Larry Hunt told KJAN News they received word of the award at around 9-a.m., Thursday. He says “It’s a nice honor. It’s a real group honor. It takes a large number of people to make something like this happen, with the community, with the teachers that we have now and in the past, the students, the parents…it’s an honor that should be bestowed on everybody that we have.”

Only seven Iowa schools, including four elementary schools, were named 2011 Blue Ribbon Schools. Hunt, who has served in the role of Principal at the school for the past two-years, says the CAM North Elementary school was nominated last year, and had also received the award in 2010. The Department will honor the entire 256 public and 49 private schools with their National Blue Ribbon School awards at a conference and awards ceremony November 14th and15th, in Washington, D.C.  Hunt says he will travel to Washington to receive the award, along with Superintendent Steve Pelzer, Reading Instructor Kay Stork, and their spouses. He says they will receive a plaque and a flag at the ceremony in November.

Hunt say’s they are excited about the trip. The National Blue Ribbon School award honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students achieve at high levels or where the achievement gap is narrowing. Since 1982, more than 6,500 of America’s schools have received the coveted award. Larry Hunt modestly says he’s only a “Very small part,” of the reason the school received the award. He says much of it can be attributed to the great teachers, faculty and students, for all the hard work they’ve done.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, honors public and private schools based on one of two criteria having to deal with performances on state assessment tests or national tests of achievement. The Anita Elementary/CAM North Elementary was chosen based on achievement scores that met or exceeded both of the criteria. CAM Superintendent Steve Pelzer says the District administration and board members would like to commend all of the former and current staff, students, parents and community for their efforts that enabled the Anita Elementary/CAM North Elementary to qualify as a No Child Left Behind “Blue Ribbon School”.

A complete list of the 2011 National Blue Ribbon Schools can be found at