Blanche Pope Wins ‘Blue’ Label


Blanche Pope Elementary may be tiny, but in the eyes of the nation, it’s blue.

The Waimanalo-based school was one of three Hawaii schools honored as National Blue Ribbon Schools Nov. 18-19 in Washington, D.C., for their outstanding performance and improvement efforts.

Blanche Pope earned the nod as an Exemplary Improving School, which honors schools that have at least 40 percent of their enrollment coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, and demonstrating significant improvement in student test scores. The school educates about 230 students in grades K-6, and its test scores have more than doubled in the past five years.

“The National Blue Ribbon Award provides us validation that we are on the right track in preparing our students for college, careers and life,” said principal Todd Watanabe via email. “It serves as a reminder to each of us that with hard work, together, we can accomplish anything.”

The school was selected as a state nominee by DOE superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi last November, along with Nuuanu and Waikiki elementary schools. Nuuanu and Waikiki were recognized in the Exemplary High Performing category.

Only 236 public and 50 private schools nationwide were selected as National Blue Ribbon Schools.