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St. Aloysius Boasts Blue Ribbon Pride

St. Aloysius School is recognized as one of the best schools in the country — and Principal Donald Howard knows why. A "cooperative spirit" among students, teachers and parents allows the children to excel, Howard said. "The students feel comfortable here and so do the parents," Howard said.

St. Aloysius School, which serves students from kindergarten to eighth grade, is designated as a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education for its excellent student performance on national tests and for meeting federal Adequate Yearly Progress marks on reading and math exams.

St. Aloysius is one of six schools in the Diocese of Bridgeport to earn the Blue Ribbon honor this year. Nationally, 50 private and 254 public schools were chosen as Blue Ribbon Schools. All will be recognized at an awards ceremony on Nov. 15 and 16 in Washington. The Bridgeport Diocese includes 39 schools in Fairfield County.

"It's a very big deal. We're all very excited," said Marie Crai, an assistant superintendent and teacher at St. Aloysius.

Howard, 68, says he has loved his work for the last seven years at the helm of St. Aloysius, working with a team of "excellent" teachers and seeing students learn daily.

That's something Howard said he did not see as much in the 10 years before his arrival in New Canaan, when he worked as a superintendent in two New York state school districts.

"It was like running a business," he said of those jobs. Working with children and teachers more directly is where Howard feels he's best suited.

"I enjoy the kids, the parents, and I enjoy the atmosphere, just the aesthetic part of it," he said. "When a student solves a problem, you get a good feeling. It's very uplifting."

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