Monday's Westlake Board of Education meeting at Hilliard Elementary School was also a chance to celebrate.
State senator Tom Patton and state representative Nan Baker both showed up to congratulate the district and the community for Hilliard being one of two Westlake City Schools being named a National Blue Ribbon School.
Hilliard and Bassett Elementary School were two of only 13 schools in Ohio to be named Blue Ribbon Schools.
Current Hilliard principal Kim Conley and former principal Mary Flanagan shared the spotlight with the visiting officials.
"This was three-part harmony," Patton said, pointing out it was the combined efforts of the staff, community and students that made this happen.
"You can't just send kids out the door and say, 'Go learn,'" Patton said. "Families, moms and dads, have to be involved."
Baker praised the school community for its "unwavering committment to excellence."
Flanagan said the award was years in the making.
"This was collectively built," she said. "I hope everyone is as proud as I am."
Conley said this was a shared award.
"Mary laid the foundation," Conley said. "I carry it on. What we have here, it is never about one person. It's about all of us working together."
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