Superintendent response to ceremony allegations

Published 11:55 pm Friday, June 14, 2019


On Tuesday, June 11, Riverdale Elementary School held their annual celebration ceremony for the fifth grade students. Although I was not in attendance due to being present at another elementary school’s ceremony, it was brought to my attention by an offended parent that allegedly booing and negative comments were made by adults regarding an award. The specific award was the President’s Award for Educational Excellence.

The President’s Award for Educational Excellence was founded in 1983 and is sponsored by the United States Department of Education. It is a bi-partisan award from the standing President and the U.S. Secretary of Education to students who have demonstrated academic excellence. It is not sponsored by a particular political party.

Students receiving this prestigious award have worked diligently to achieve academic excellence and any negative responses from adults is discourteous to the students who have earned the award given by the highest office in our nation. Ceremonies that honor students are milestones in a child’s life. It is my hope, that as adults, we view these events as special moments for our children. It is also my hope that we, as adults, do everything within our power to model proper etiquette and behavior in formal ceremonies in honor of children receiving awards.

Congratulations to the fifth graders of Riverdale Elementary School and I commend you for all of the awards, recognitions, and honors bestowed upon you!

Dr. Gwendolyn Shannon, Ph.D., Superintendent