Chris Renn, California Casualty Field Marketing manager, presented the staff with a special plaque and trophy for the achievement.
“It’s a big deal,” said Renn as he addressed the school faculty. “It’s not the 295 students, or the 17 teachers, or the 27 staff members that you have that really got the Gold Ribbon, it’s the whole community. It’s the parents, it’s all of you combined; it’s having a vision.”
“One of the unique things that I saw from your guys’ application,” added Renn. “[It] was the fact that yours was the only one, out of the 33 that I went through personally that said, ‘we want to help improve all students in all areas’, and I thought that was pretty cool.”
For Holtville Middle School Principal, Fawn Nielsen, winning the Gold Ribbon was a pinnacle moment for Holtville education and a testament to their academic excellence in the Imperial Valley, she said.
“This day is just a culmination of a lot of really hard work,” said Nielsen. “Everything from our teachers, our staff, our community, our students, working hard in rising to the occasion, meeting expectations, and going above and beyond.”
“This is an excellent occasion,” added Nielsen. “Any time you get to celebrate successes, it’s a great moment for education and it’s a great moment for Holtville.”
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson stated that the Gold Ribbon schools, “shine as bright beacons for others, putting forth an exemplary effort to ensure that every student is ready for 21st-century colleges and careers.”
Holtville Middle School is one of 275 middle and high schools across the Golden State cited for implementing rigorous academic standards while creating a positive school environment that promotes excellence and creativity in teaching. Its stated mission is to create a safe academic environment, learning to the highest standards, instills responsibility, self-worth, respect, and a strong work ethic in all students so that every student can be a responsible citizen, an independent thinker, an effective communicator, and a life-long learner capable of success.