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Mesquite Elementary School recognized for academic performance

School gaining more national attention as 1 of 5 in Arizona to win the National Blue Ribbon Award.
Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 9:32 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Department of Education has named Mesquite Elementary School as a Blue Ribbon school based on its academic performance.

Earlier this month, a group of men tried to make a citizen’s arrest on Principal Diane Vargo in a dispute over the school’s COVID-19 protocols.

But now, the school is gaining more national attention as one of five schools in Arizona to win the National Blue Ribbon Award.

“And we won and we are really excited about it,” said Vargo.

To win a National Blue Ribbon Award, Vargo said, a school must be nominated by Arizona Superintendent Kathy Hoffman.

“Once you are nominated, it is quite a lengthy process,” she said.

The application was first submitted six months ago, in the middle of a pandemic.

“It was a crazy time. We were trying to provide instruction during the pandemic and trying to make campus safe for our students,” she said.

Vargo believes there are three other reasons they are bringing home this prestigious award.

“We have an amazing math enrichment program. We also have a Chinese immersion program at our school,” she said. “And the third reason I think is because the staff did an amazing job during the pandemic last year on how to provide instruction in different phases of learning.”

She said she’s proud of staff, teachers and everyone at Mesquite.

“We are just so excited. I had to make an ‘all call’ to the whole school,” she said.

This is the second time Mesquite Elementary has won the National Blue Ribbon Award. The first time was in 2014.

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