Popp’s Ferry Elementary receives 2020 National Blue Ribbon Award


Popp’s Ferry Elementary was officially awarded by the United States Department of Education to be a 2020 National Blue Ribbon School.

Popp’s Ferry Elementary was virtually awarded to be one of four schools in Mississippi to be a 2020 National Blue Ribbon School. The prestigious award recognizes schools in one of two performance categories that include being among their state’s highest performing schools either with testing scores or with closing achievement gaps between student groups. Principal Dr. Vivian Malone said, “We are just beaming with pride, it is a coveted award that most principals work hard for and we are so happy that we were able to achieve that goal this year.”

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Chelsea Fortenberry, a first grade teacher at Popp’s Ferry Elementary, explained why Popp’s Ferry is such a special school to receive a National Blue Ribbon. “They’re excited to learn, the teachers are excited to teach and they really do, they work hard. The teachers work hard planning excellent lessons for the kids that are engaging and exciting and get them excited to learn.”

With the diversity and the adherence of learning that Popp’s Ferry’s curriculum provides for all students, the hard work paid off with this special blue ribbon. “We are a melting pot here and for all of us to come together and work as one to achieve these goals is phenomenal. We have great teachers here that push our students every day and they push themselves to be great every day and this is what happens when you do those things.”

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Gabrielle Cox is native to Hammond, Louisiana where she attended grade school, high school, and college. Gabrielle was an all district athlete for the girls soccer team at St. Thomas Aquinas High School. After high school, she went on to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and a minor in Spanish at Southeastern Louisiana University. She was a reporter and anchor for the Southeastern Channel where her and her team received a number of awards, including a Suncoast Emmy for a live football game broadcasted by ESPN+ in which she was the sideline reporter. Gabby has had a life full of traveling and is blessed to have family placed all over the world. However, the aspect that makes Gabby standout is that she has a brother with Autism and that is nonverbal. Gabby plays a huge part in the role of her brother’s life and quotes that she would not be the person she is today if it was not for him.


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