Heck-Quaw Elementary in Belgrade receives national award

Posted at 3:22 PM, Oct 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-04 17:51:46-04

BELGRADE – Heck-Quaw Elementary School in Belgrade has received the blue ribbon award from the U.S. Department of Education.

Excitement is surely in the air this week after Heck-Quaw Elementary School found out they have been awarded the blue ribbon award for 2018.

349 schools were recognized with the blue ribbon award in the country and Heck-Quaw Elementary is the only school in Montana to earn this award this year.

Heck-Quaw Elementary School Principal Lori Degenhart said: “to be recognized for all the hard work I know we put in day in and day out is really an honor.”

“Part of the reason Heck-Quaw might have been nominated for this is that we really strive to work for students as a whole and we do things to get better within the community. We reach out to the community and we do a lot of community events,” First Grade Teacher Annie Aschim said.

But how exactly is Heck-Quaw standing out here in Montana?

“Changing some of our practices and improving on things that are still very good practices but changing some things up like other professions do, looking at research and implementing those things,” Degenhart said. “Looking at the standards and really looking at how we can align things better across grade levels vertically as well as horizontally.”

And this has truly been a team effort. Degenhart said from the custodians to the teachers to the office staff and everyone in between has made it possible for Heck-Quaw to be honored.

“I feel like we are always are in this for the students and so we are always looking for ways to make ourselves better but also what we can do to help the students better their lives, better their education and so we will continue to work hard,” Aschim said.

“It’s still pretty surreal because there’s a lot of schools doing really great things for our students in Montana,” said Degenhart.

Degenhart and a staff member will be heading to Washington D.C. later this fall to receive the award along with the other schools in the country that were honored.

Reporting by Emma Hamilton for MTN News