• Nov. 17, 2023

    Boyce recognized at national ceremony

    Boyce Middle School Principal Dr. Dan O'Rourke and Boyce teacher Sherri Garvey served as the school's representatives at the 2023 National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony. Several celebratory events were held on Thursday, Nov.16 and Friday, Nov. 17, 2023, in Washington, D.C. 

    Watch the ceremony

    Sept. 19, 2023

    Boyce named a 2023 National Blue Ribbon School

    Boyce Blue RibbonBoyce Middle School is among the 353 schools in the nation that were named 2023 National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education. U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona made the annual announcement on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023.

    “The honorees for our 2023 National Blue Ribbon Schools Award have set a national example for what it means to raise the bar in education,” Secretary Cardona. “The leaders, educators and staff at our National Blue Ribbon Schools continually inspire me with their dedication to fostering academic excellence and building positive school cultures that support students of all backgrounds to thrive academically, socially and emotionally.”

    This marks the second Blue Ribbon for Boyce and the 13th overall for the Upper St. Clair School District.

    “We are tremendously proud of our entire Boyce Middle School community, including our teachers, staff, families and, most importantly, our students,” Dr. John Rozzo, superintendent of schools for the Upper St. Clair School District, said. “The National Blue Ribbon is further testament that Boyce provides an extraordinary experience for our students and their families.”

    Blue Ribbon SchoolBoyce Middle School, which serves 620 students in grades five and six, earned its first National Blue Ribbon in 1992. The school is led by Principal Dr. Dan O’Rourke and Assistant Principal Dr. Christine Mussomeli, who described the accomplishment as a monumental achievement.

    “The Blue Ribbon Award is one of the most coveted awards in education,” Dr. O’Rourke said. “Only 13 public schools in Pennsylvania can be nominated, so to be one of a fraction of a percent of schools to receive the award is an immense accomplishment for the students, staff, district and community.”

    The Blue Ribbon application process began in February when the Boyce administrators were notified that the school had been nominated for being an Exemplary High Performing School.

    “After being nominated, there is a very detailed and extensive application process that is required,” Dr. O’Rourke explained. “Boyce staff members from multiple departments assisted with responding to specific curricular and programmatic sections that are required as part of the application process.”

    Dr. Mussomeli stated that the Boyce Middle School staff is committed to ensuring that all students are given every opportunity to achieve their personal best.

    “At Boyce, collectively we are totally committed to prioritizing the needs of children over anything else,” she said. “We are dedicated to guiding students through the tough middle school years in an environment that is comfortable and nurturing.”

    Many schools around the nation have seen a drop in standardized test scores since the pandemic. Although Boyce Middle School student performance, as measured by Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA), dipped in 2021, it has continued its upward trajectory the last two years.

    “In fact, this past year our collective PSSA scores were the highest they have ever been since the test changed about a decade ago. Our percentage of students scoring advanced has also seen an increase,” Dr. O’Rourke said. “This is a testament to our hard-working students, outstanding instruction and the collective efforts of all constituents.”

    The National Blue Ribbon Schools program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Since its inception in 1982, the program has presented more than 10,000 awards to over 9,700 schools, with some schools winning multiple awards. Schools are eligible for nomination after five years.

    According to the program’s website, “the coveted National Blue Ribbon School award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. The National Blue Ribbon School flag gracing an entry or flying overhead is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.”

    Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The Department invites nominations for the National Blue Ribbon Schools award from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by the Council for American Private Education.

    Boyce Middle School and the other 2023 Blue Ribbon School will be recognized at the program’s awards ceremony on Nov. 16 and Nov. 17, 2023, in Washington, D.C.