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Spotlight 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 



Blue Ribbon Spotlight 2021



Ellsworth Elementary School


Ellsworth USD 327Ellsworth Elementary School

  • Josh Lanning, Superintendent​
  • Tammi Graff, Principal    

Ellsworth Elementary School serves the children of three communities –  Ellsworth, Kanopolis and Geneseo, In total, 221 kindergarten through  fourth-grade students attend the elementary school.

The mission of USD 327 is to provide an educational environment in which  all children can learn to the maximum of their capabilities. Ellsworth Elementary School opened in 1952.

Staff members work tirelessly to provide a solid foundation on which student can build success. A point of pride for Ellsworth Elementary is the development of a research-based, cohesive, and consistent curriculum across the primary grades, extending to the upper-elementary grades. Student growth and success is the school’s daily focus, and Ellsworth is always cognizant of living up to its status as a previous Blue Ribbon School. In fact, being awarded this honor has been a draw for people who are considering making Ellsworth home.

In summary, not only is Ellsworth Elementary School in the physical heart of the town of Ellsworth, it is a treasured reminder for many residents of a main reason they have chosen to continue to make the community their home.



Grandview Elementary School

El Dorado USD 490Grandview Elementary School

  • Teresa Tosh, Superintendent
  • Susan Holthaus, Principal

Grandview Elementary School, located 25 miles northeast of Wichita, serves 277 students throughout Butler County. The city of El Dorado has deep roots in agriculture and the oil industry.

The school is housed in a three-year-old building equipped to support a variety of technology. Grandview is “privileged and challenged to meet students where they are academically and social-emotionally,” the school’s application states. “We tackle this opportunity with teamwork and community support.”

The school has been selected as a Choose to Be Nice School for three years and is the only one in Kansas, according to its application. Grandview Elementary attributes its success to it main strategy of building relationships with dignity.

“This is first and foremost,” the application states. “While building relationships, you develop respect, responsibility, trust, empathy, communication, friendship, courage, patience and integrity. There are the foundational cornerstones of the teaching and learning styles that have increased our academic success.”



Roosevelt Elementary School 

Hays USD 489Roosevelt Elementary School

  • Ron Wilson, Superintendent
  • Keri Petersen, Principal

Roosevelt Elementary School, located in the northwest Kansas community of Hays, serves 408 students in grades kindergarten through fifth. Roosevelt is a school with growing multicultural and socioeconomic diversity, which mirrors the community in recent years, according to the school’s application.“Roosevelt begins building relationships through community and parental involvement when students enter kindergarten,” the application states. “Our families and stakeholders become invested in most aspects of the school community.” Teachers at the elementary school didn’t give up on kids and their learning when school buildings were closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This directly impacted an increase in parent and community involvement at Roosevelt.

“Our school has observed firsthand when educators, parents and community members join forces within a school community, it directly and positively impacts students’ lives and well-being,” Roosevelt’s application states.



Mahaffie Elementary School

Olathe USD 233Mahaffie Elementary School

  • Dr. Brent Yeager, Superintendent
  • Peggy Head, Principal

Mahaffie Elementary School, located in Olathe, serves 403 students in pre-K through fifth grade. It is part of a large suburban community and is located on the property of the first stop on the Oregon Trail. The elementary school’s high success and achievement is based on the foundational beliefs that all students are leaders; all students can grow academically regardless of their obstacles; and every single staff member in the building plays a crucial role in this mission.The school maintains a 30-year tradition of leadership and learning.

“Though many things have changed, especially this year, we are a partnership of students, parents, staff and community working together to provide a safe and caring place were all students are preparing for a lifetime of contribution and success,” the school’s application states.

The dedication of its stuff members and their approach to developing the whole child is the reason why Mahaffie’s students have such high academic success.



Sabetha Elementary School 

Prairie Hills USD 113

  • Todd Evans, Superintendent
  • Sara Toedman, PrincipalSabetha Elementary School

Sabetha Elementary School, located in the northeast corner of Kansas, is home to 385 students in pre-K through fifth grade.

The Sabetha community has been shaped by its rural, agriculture-based economy. There also is an entrepreneurial spirit that flourishes in the community.

“We are home to international businesses that provide innovative technology and industry,” the school’s application states. “Along with the four schools in the Prairie Hills school district, progressive ideals, strong ethics and hard work comprise the values of SES. We strive daily to live the Blue Jay Way. We are committed to being respectful, responsible and safe. Everything we do is a representation of these expectations.

The deep dedication of staff members and administration to the continuation of providing a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) throughout the pandemic has been key to supporting student academic success“The key to the success of Sabetha Elementary’s MTSS program, and the impact it has had on student development, lies within collaborative problem-solving,” the school’s application states. 

“The continuation of providing interventions required the development of close, working relationships. Conversations among community health care professionals, the Board of Education, administration, building leaders and instructional staff led to the development of procedures which protected the use of small-group instruction while following health and safety protocols. These relationships were strengthened through a continuous flow of communication and discussions focused on doing what is best for students.”




Questions about this program contact:

Tamla Miller
(785) 296-4950

Blue Ribbon Schools




  • Hillcrest Elementary School, USD 497 Lawrence 
  • Lee Elementary School, USD 383 Manhattan-Ogden 
  • Magdalen Catholic School, Wichita Diocese 
  • Marion Elementary School, USD 408 Marion Florence 
  • Sterling Grade School, USD 376 Sterling 
  • Valley Heights Elementary School, USD 498 Valley Heights 


  • Eisenhower Elementary School, USD 475 Geary County 
  • Gardner Elementary School, USD 231 Gardner Edgerton 
  • Ruth Clark Elementary School, USD 261 Haysville 
  • Sheridan Elementary School, USD 475 Geary County 
  • Wineteer Elementary School, USD 260 Derby 
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