Mary Purcell Elementary School award

Northwest Educational Service District 189 Superintendent Larry Francois (left) stands with Mary Purcell Elementary School staff and Sedro-Woolley School Board members during the district’s April 8 school board meeting.

SEDRO-WOOLLEY — Mary Purcell Elementary School was honored April 8 for its achievement as a 2018 School of Distinction.

During a school board meeting, Larry Francois, Superintendent of Northwest Educational Service District 189 — which serves school districts in Island, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom counties — presented Mary Purcell Elementary Principal Mike Cullum and staff with a banner in honor of the achievement.

The School of Distinction honor is awarded to schools that have shown sustained improvement in language arts and math over a five-year period.

“It doesn’t happen by accident,” Francois said. “It truly is a community effort.”

It is the first School of Distinction award for Mary Purcell Elementary, Francois said, but, as he handed Cullum the banner, he told the principal he should start looking for places to hang future banners as well.

A few weeks early, Francois said, he also delivered a 2018 School of Distinction banner to Clear Lake Elementary School.

— Reporter Kera Wanielista: 360-416-2141,, Twitter: @Kera_SVH,

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