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OXNARD : Top Educator Praises Blue Ribbon School

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The visit Friday by California’s top educator to an award-winning middle school in south Oxnard was--by his own account--an unusual event.

“I tend to spend my time where there are problems,” William D. Dawson, acting superintendent of public instruction, said during a visit to honor the E.O. Green School for its selection as a national Blue Ribbon School.

Instead, Dawson dispensed praise and encouragement Friday during a tour of the 900-student middle school, which was the only school in the country this year to be named a Blue Ribbon School for both math and science.

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“This school is a very, very special type of place,” Dawson told students and teachers at a reception. “I wish I could clone you.”

Under the direction of Principal Deloris Carn the last six years, the school has developed an interdisciplinary approach to its curriculum, with topics introduced in one class popping up in others.

“In science, they give us math problems, and in math class, they teach us science,” said Heather Caldwell, 13, an eighth-grader.

Because of the success of the E.O. Green and Charles Blackstock middle schools, the Hueneme Elementary School District receives more than 300 visits a year from educators, said Supt. Ronald C. Rescigno.

Carn said the success of the school’s interdisciplinary curriculum is especially pleasing because the school is not located in an affluent neighborhood.

“We’re from a poor cubbyhole in the community,” Carn said. “Yet we are a proud campus with an environment that is not only safer, but is more friendly.”

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President Clinton will salute a contingent of two students and three faculty members from E.O. Green School in a ceremony on the White House lawn Thursday.

Representatives of Oak Park High School, another 1993 Blue Ribbon School, will also attend the White House ceremony, an official said.

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