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Madison Hillier, center, explains to Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., the purpose of a project on display during a visit to the Henry A. Coffeen Elementary School on Thursday. The tree represents the “Leader in Me” program’s habits for developing character and leadership in the students for the last three years. The Sheridan Press | Justin SheelyMadison Hillier, center, explains to Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., the purpose of a project on display during a visit to the Henry A. Coffeen Elementary School on Thursday. The tree represents the “Leader in Me” program’s habits for developing character and leadership in the students for the last three years. The Sheridan Press | Justin Sheely

Coffeen students recognized for Blue Ribbon

SHERIDAN — Sen. John Barrasso made a brief visit to Sheridan yesterday to congratulate and visit with the students of Henry A. Coffeen Elementary School.

The school was awarded the national 2013 Blue Ribbon School award.

“We tell them if you work hard, good things happen,” school principal Nikki Trahan said about the impact the senator’s visit had on the students. “It’s just abuzz. I don’t think they quite understand that we have a U.S. senator coming.”

The senator opened his talk at an all-school assembly with the presentation of a flag to Trahan and the school.

He said the flag had been flown above the Capitol in Washington, D.C., at his request, in honor of the school’s achievement.

The senator gave a short talk and then took 11 questions from students, ranging from his favorite book and author to why he wanted to be a senator rather than a doctor. He also noted his own participation in sponsoring the legislation that created the Hathaway Scholarship and suggested that if the students continue to work hard on their academic achievement, they may someday benefit from the scholarship by attending the university or a state community college of their choice.

“You want to congratulate the school and the faculty and the parents,” Barrasso told The Sheridan Press after the assembly about why he made the trip to Sheridan in person. “This is quite an achievement. Less than 300 schools get designated as Blue Ribbon Schools and you hope you are able to inspire them (the students) and hopefully that keeps them on the path of learning.”

About

Christina Schmidt

Christina Schmidt has worked at The Sheridan Press since August 2012. She covers a variety of feature stories as well as stories related to local schools.

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