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For Immediate Release
For more information contact:
September 7, 2012
Jay Dillon (770) 426-3345


Hendricks Elementary Named
2012 National Blue Ribbon School

Hendricks Elementary School (formerly known as Austell Intermediate) is one of just seven public schools in Georgia to be named a 2012 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. The program honors public and private schools where students achieve at the highest levels, as well as schools that make progress in closing the achievement gap. Principal Patrick O’Connell will formally accept the award during an official ceremony Nov. 12 in Washington, DC.

Hendricks was recognized in the program’s ‘Dramatically Improving Schools’ category, for schools with at least 40 percent economically disadvantaged students that have shown notable improvements in student achievement. Since 2008, the percentage of Hendricks students meeting or exceeding standards on the Math section of the CRCT has leaped from 66 percent to 89 percent; for the Reading portion, the percentage improved from 82 percent to 93 percent. Over the same period, the percentage of students exceeding standards on the Math section of the CRCT rose from 17 percent to 55 percent in 2012; in Reading, the percentage of students exceeding standards has increased from 25 percent to 40 percent.

Principal O’Connell said, “We’re really proud of the steady improvement that our student achievement results show over the past five years. We have focused on trying to make sure that all students meet standards, but we have placed an even greater focus on making sure that students exceed standards.  I believe the steady increase is most directly related to having a school culture of hope, positivity, and ‘no quitting.’  Hendricks teachers simply won’t accept anything but the best effort from their students.”

The Blue Ribbon Schools program began in 1982 as a means of recognizing many of the nation’s most successful schools. Schools that meet award criteria are nominated by state education officials and selected by the U.S. Department of Education. Hendricks’ 2012 honor marks the 20th Blue Ribbon School designation bestowed upon Cobb County Schools since the program’s inception.

More information about the National Blue Ribbon Schools program is available on the U.S. Department of Education Web site at