GODDARD, Kan. Goddard's Challenger Intermediate School is in elite company.
Wednesday, the school was honored as one of 279 schools nationwide as a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School, a distinction for students earned for their efforts in the classroom last year.
Since 1982, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has honored schools "which have achieved high levels of performance or made significant improvements in closing the achievement gap among student subgroups."
Challenger Intermediate School received the honor Wednesday for its students' collective strong performance on state standardized tests.
"I think it goes back to hard work and dedication and the relationships that were built over time," says Challenger Principal Jess Herbig. "It's one of those things that we've been able to do within our programs and capturing kids hearts."
The Goddard school district is one of only three school districts in the state in which multiple schools have won the award since it was introduced.