MILTON, Ga. – Principal George Freiberger recently returned from Washington, D.C., where he represented Crabapple Crossing Elementary School during a ceremony honoring the 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools.
The Milton elementary school was one of 269 schools honored across the country Nov. 12-13, and only one of four Georgia public schools to receive the national distinction. The award is based on the school’s overall academic excellence, where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements in achievement are being made. Crabapple Crossing was selected based on its high academic performance.
Freiberger said accepting the award on behalf of Crabapple Crossing was “the proudest moment of my education career.” Freiberger has been at Crabapple Crossing his entire career, and was named the principal of the school in 2009 after serving as a teacher and the assistant principal.
“Being in our nation’s capital to receive the National Blue Ribbon School award was such an exciting experience,” said Freiberger. “Accepting this honor on behalf of Crabapple Crossing [was] emotional for me, knowing how hard we work to make our school the best learning environment possible for our students.”
Also attending the ceremony in Washington, D.C. was Veronica Krapf, a Talented and Gifted (TAG) teacher at the school who Freiberger said was instrumental in writing the application and organizing the submission for the National Blue Ribbon School program.
A two-time winner of the Georgia School of Excellence distinction (2010 and 2004), Crabapple Crossing had set a goal to become a national winner by 2013, and Freiberger said the school community was thrilled to have earned the honor one year ahead of their goal.
“This award just affirmed that we are doing an incredible job, and I love reminding my teachers and staff of that every day,” said Freiberger. “Without their unwavering dedication and the support from our amazing students, parents, community and business partners, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
Crabapple Crossing joins eight other Fulton Schools to be designated a National School of Excellence, going back to 1988 when the program began.
But joining the elite group of schools means the hard work continues at Crabapple Crossing, said Freiberger.
“Earning the highest honor an American school can receive doesn’t mean we get to sit back and relax,” said the principal. “There are always improvements to be made, new ideas to test and learning initiatives to bring to fruition. We don’t strive to meet the standards of elementary education; we strive to set them.”
The school was further recognized on Wednesday, Dec. 5 during a Blue Ribbon Award presentation led by State Superintendent John Barge. Also in attendance were members of the Fulton County Board of Education and Fulton Superintendent Robert Avossa.