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Education Officials Praise Union Park Elementary

Secretary Rod Paige offers words of encouragement to Ms. Henry's 1st grade students. Pictured (left to right) are: Chairman Handy, Principal King, Superintendent Blocker, Secretary Paige and Ms. Henry

Union Park Elementary in Orlando is proud to be an "A" school for two years in a row, and the students and staff are working hard to earn a "three-peat". Nationally, Union Park has been recognized for its excellence in exceeding all of the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) performance goals that are part of the No Child Left Behind Act. Because of these achievements and the school's dedication to rising student achievement, Union Park Elementary School was recently honored by a visit from three distinguished guests: United States Secretary of Education Rod Paige; Chairman of the Florida Board of Education Phil Handy; and Orange County Public Schools Superintendent Ronald Blocker.

Pamm Hermann (left), School Teacher
of the Year, talks with Secretary Paige
and Chairman Handy

As part of their campus tour, the guests visited the classrooms of Judy Henry, Amie Guckian and Pamm Hermann. They talked briefly with the teachers and students and learned about the activities underway. The last stop on campus was an assembly for students in the third through fifth grades. During the assembly, Secretary Paige commended Florida's courage to maintain high academic standards in its accountability plan, and he applauded Union Park Elementary for surpassing those standards. State Board of Education Chairman Phil Handy thanked teachers for their hard work and commended Principal Ray King for his outstanding leadership. He also reminded students that they are making history, reminding them that last year Florida's fourth graders were the only students in the country to show dramatic improvement in reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Although there is always room for improvement, the staff and students at Union Park Elementary, like many others across the state, are making the goals of Governor Jeb Bush's A+ Plan for Education and the federal No Child Left Behind Act a reality. Congratulations Mustangs!

For more information about Union Park Elementary, visit