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Bishop Burbidge Celebrates Mass Recognizing Blue Ribbon School

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The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge offered Mass at Immaculata Catholic School in Durham on Tuesday, October 23, 2012, in honor of Immaculata’s recognition as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education. Immaculata is one of 269 schools in the United States and the only Catholic school in the state of North Carolina to receive the honor this year.

“This award affirms what we already knew: we have highly qualified teachers who teach every day using differentiation, project-based learning, integrated technology, and cutting edge curriculum,” said Mrs. Dana Corcoran, Principal and Director of Immaculata Catholic School and Early Childhood Center.

“I extend sincere congratulations to all associated with Immaculata Catholic School on receiving this prestigious award,” said Bishop Burbidge. “Father McLellan, Mrs. Corcoran, the staff and the students and their parents are to be commended for this achievement. Receiving this recognition is a great honor for Immaculata Catholic School and the entire Diocese of Raleigh.”  

In his homily, the Bishop spoke to the students about the Year of Faith which just opened in the Diocese of Raleigh. He told the students that they should practice three “S’s” during the Year: Study your faith. Show your faith. And Share your faith.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program evaluates schools based on one of two criteria: (1) schools whose students are high performing. These are schools ranked among each state’s highest performing schools as measured by their performance on state assessments or, in the case of private schools, that score at the highest performance level on nationally normed tests; or (2) schools with at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that improve student performance to high levels as measured by the school’s performance on state assessments or nationally normed tests.

“Immaculata joins a growing list of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Raleigh that have been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence,” said Dr. Michael J. Fedewa, Superintendent of Catholic Formation and Education. They are St. Michael the Archangel in Cary, St. Francis of Assisi, Sacred Heart Cathedral, and Our Lady of Lourdes, all in Raleigh, and Blessed Sacrament Catholic School in Burlington. “I join Bishop Burbidge in congratulating the Immaculata community for this well-deserved honor,” Dr. Fedewa said

The U.S. Education Department will honor the 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools at a conference and awards ceremony Nov. 12-13 in Washington, D.C.

Following Mass the Bishop attended a reception and then spent the morning visiting classrooms at the school, answering questions from the students and encouraging them always to say “Yes” to the Lord. “What He asks of you may be hard,” the Bishop said, “but He will always give you what you need to accomplish it.”

After speaking to the seventh and eighth graders in the school gym, Bishop Burbidge also posed for photos with Mrs. Corcoran, a New York Giants fan, who wore a Philadelphia Eagles cap in fulfillment of a bet she and the Bishop had made on the September 30th Giants-Eagles football game, which the Eagles won.

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Above: Students, faculty and parents attending Mass celebrated by Bishop Burbidge in honor of Immaculata School being designated Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. Click photo to view larger.

Above: Bishop Burbidge at celebration of Mass. Concelebrants were Parochial Vicars Fr. William McIntyre, OFM; Fr. Lawrence Hayes, OFM and Pastor Fr. Daniel McLellan. Click photo to view larger.

Above: Bishop Burbidge with Immaculata Principal Mrs. Dana Corcoran posing with a Philadelphia Eagles cap in fulfillment of a friendly bet she and the Bishop had made on the Giants-Eagles football game. Mr. Tim Miller, social studies teacher and a student also pictured. Click photo to view larger.