By Jessica Able, Record Staff Writer
Sacred Heart Model School students gathered in the Ursuline Arts Center Nov. 2 to celebrate a national award from the U.S. Department of Education.
The school was named a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education along with Our Lady of Lourdes School on Oct. 1. This is the second Blue Ribbon distinction for Sacred Heart Model School. It was previously recognized in 2001.
Dr. Michael Bratcher, principal of Sacred Heart Model School, said the award was an honor for the entire Sacred Heart community.
“This award is about the students, yes, but it is also because of the support of the Ursuline Sisters,” he said in an interview last week.
Sacred Heart Model is located on the Ursuline Campus in Crescent Hill and is sponsored by the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville.
Bratcher said the vision set forth by the Ursuline Sisters sets the school apart.
“While we are not a parish school, we are very much a Catholic school rooted in the Ursuline tradition, in the spirit of Angela Merici,” foundress of the Ursulines, he said.
The school is one of four within the Sacred Heart Schools system. The other three are Sacred Heart Preschool, Sacred Heart School for the Arts and Sacred Heart Academy.
Bratcher said schools honored with the Blue Ribbon distinction are committed to helping students realize their full potential. They also “maximize and accelerate student achievement.”
“From my perspective, we have no greater responsibility than assisting and working with students to realize their potential,” he said.
At the assembly Nov. 2, Dr. Mary Beth Bowling, assistant superintendent of Catholic schools, noted that Sacred Heart Model School was one of 50 schools in the U.S. to be recognized as a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School and said “it’s not an honor to take lightly.”
“What makes Sacred Heart Model School special is those four core values,” said Bowling, who served as principal of Sacred Heart Model School from 2005 to 2014. She was referring to the Ursuline core values of community, reverence, service and leadership.
Bowling said because of the students’ commitment to the Ursuline core values, their legacy would not only be recognized “by what you know but by what you do everyday — by living those core values.”
Valentina Moreno, an eighth-grader at Sacred Heart Model School, addressed the student body and said she is grateful to attend “such an academically-challenging school” that challenges her to “become a better person every day.”
“Because of the opportunities that Sacred Heart Model School provides to their students, students can feel like they are at the school that provides the best possible education for themselves,” she said.
Moreno said Sacred Heart Model School is a “place where teachers care for the students and the students care for learning,” she said.
The school was formally recognized at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., this week.