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Falls Church’s St. James School receives third Blue Ribbon

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St. James School in Falls Church was one of eight Virginia schools this year to be awarded a National Blue Ribbon of Excellence from the U.S. Department of Education. The school, run by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, also was given the award in 1999 and 2014. Only 50 nonpublic schools across the country are recognized each year. 

To celebrate the occasion, students had ice cream treats and watched the Sept. 24 livestream of the announcement from their classrooms, said IHM Sister Mary Sue Carwile, principal. 

“The kids were all very excited,” she said. “It shows the tremendous efforts of all of our teachers and staff and parents and students together and the great community that we have here. I don’t think there’s a whole lot of schools that have three (blue ribbons).”

The first parish school began in 1906 and was staffed by the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. The IHM sisters have staffed St. James school since 1923. This year, the school has more than 400 students and inaugurated its first preschool . 

“We were thrilled to learn that St. James was selected as a national Blue Ribbon school yet again,” said Joseph Vorbach, diocesan superintendent of Catholic schools. “This distinctive recognition is an acknowledgment of the mission-focused commitment to every student that is a hallmark of this remarkable school community.” 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020