Tighe Honored

Principal Audrey Becker, center, and Margate schools Superintendent John DiNicola, right, accept a proclamation from Mayor Michael Becker on Nov. 16 for Eugene A. Tighe Middle School's recent recognition as a national Blue Ribbon school.

NANETTE LoBIONDO GALLOWAY Staff Writer

MARGATE — Mayor Michael Becker presented a proclamation to Audrey Becker, principal of Eugene A. Tighe Middle School, Margate Superintendent John DiNicola and a group of the school's teachers during the Nov. 16 Board of Commissioners meeting, honoring them for becoming a national Blue Ribbon school.

"You will never know how proud that makes me," Mayor Becker said. "I always had a special fondness for our schools."

Michael Becker served on the Board of Education for 22 years before he was elected mayor. Principal Becker is his daughter-in-law. 

The Tighe school received the highest school honor at a gathering in Washington, D.C., earlier this month. It was one of nine New Jersey schools the U.S. Department of Education named Blue Ribbon Schools. Nationwide, 342 schools earned the honor based on academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, in its 35th year, honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools.

Tighe is the first Atlantic County middle school to achieve the recognition, the mayor said.

Test scores weighed heavily in the school’s selection, along with all of the school's other innovative and challenging programs, teaching staff and the parents who support the school, Principal Becker said.

To be considered high-performing, schools must rank in the top 15 percent in the nation for all students in English language arts and mathematics and have a graduation rate higher than 95 percent.

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