UPPER PROVIDENCE —Blue was the color of the day, Friday at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic School, not in sadness but to celebrate its naming as a national Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.

The school is one of 349 nationwide to receive the award which was presented by the U.S. Education Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on Monday. In its 36th year, More than 8,800 schools across the country have been presented with the award.

To celebrate, the 350 students and their teachers, all wearing blue shirts with the blue ribbon logo, gathered with on the playground for a group photo.

“I believe it’s always been a blue ribbon school but it’s official now,” Principal Denise Winterberger said a few minutes after photographers documented the moment from the roof of the school. “We’ve always been an excellent school and this has been one of my personal goals.”

Winterberger, who has been the principal at Mary Magdalen for the past four years said this is the first time it applied for the award. To qualify students in grades three to eight had to have an average above 85 percent in standardized test scores.

The morning stated with Mass celebrated by pastor Msgr. Ralph Chieffo and participation by students, faculty, and staff.

Following the photo student attended a pep rally celebration in the gymnasium which included 2,000 blue balloons dropping from the ceiling drop as well as a DJ dance party, blue water ice for students and teachers performing a special “flash mob” dance.

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