School In Cloquet Recognized Nationally For Academic Improvement And Success

Cloquet, MINN. — The Churchill Elementary School in Cloquet held a celebration on Tuesday after it was recognized as one of the 2022 National Blue Ribbon Schools.

It’s one of 297 in the country, and one of eight in Minnesota.

The honor goes to schools that have made progress in narrowing the achievement gaps among their students, or have overall academic success.

“One of the things that I had the opportunity to say is that there are not a lot of times when teachers in their lifetime get to experience the recognition of closing the achievement gap and making real-time, real life impacts,” Heather Mueller, the Education Commissioner of Minnesota, said. “And sometimes it takes a while to be able to see that and so it’s really important for them to be recognized. It’s really important for students to be recognized for their hard work and to be able to see that this celebration is really a culmination of a lot of work that has happened in this school.”

The principal revealed how the school was able to lift up a lot of students and help them achieve better grades.

“For years, we have been working really hard with student data, we have excellent collaborative teams, we have data retreats that are highly effective,” David Wangen, the principal of Churchill Elementary, said. “It allows us to zero in on particular student issues and learning issues that we can come back then in our intervention groups and work with students on and in our classrooms as well, so they’ve been amazing for our success.”

A teacher added that the inspiration is always there.

“Kids come in with such a curiosity, they’re ready to learn,” Ashlee Lennartson, a teacher, said. “And so it’s just really unlocking that joy and love of learning. And I have the great privilege of being that facilitator every day.”

This is the first time Churchill Elementary has been recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School.

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