The Bishop John A. Marshall School in Morrisville received two recognition awards from the National School Choice Week event Jan. 29 in Montpelier.

It won in the school categories for Innovative Schools and Innovative Teacher. Brad Ferland, co-chair of National School Choice Week, presented Head of School Carrie Wilson and Vice Principal Jennifer Nordenson with the recognition awards.

“There are so many good things to say about Bishop John A. Marshall School. Their history of starting in church basements and successfully fundraising to build a school for a permanent home is very impressive,” Ferland said. “Being the first Catholic School built in Vermont in a 50-year history was monumental. And looking to their core values one finds the essence of their success with integrity, love, dignity, respect for God and neighbor, awareness and response to the needs of others, faith, and respect for order and discipline. The school has a strong parental involvement and support as well.”

The second award recognition was presented to Wilson; she was nominated by Michelle E. Hines-Tomlinson, a parent at BJAMS.

In her nomination Hines-Tomlinson wrote, “Carrie Wilson, the Head of School, at Bishop John A. Marshall is an exceptional leader, educator, and person. Carrie believes that every child is a gift that needs to be nurtured in their own way. She has built a school where children from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade and their teachers have formed a tight community where each person can be who God meant them to be and grow into the best version of themselves.

She is the kind of person that deeply cares about people. She’ll remember your family car, the face of your aunt from out-of-state, or an alumnus from fifteen years ago. She can recall if a donor’s spouse has passed away, an alumni family has moved away, or one of our current families just had a baby. Her light shines while holding a teacher’s newborn baby or letting a staff member’s toddler sit on her lap during a weekly meeting. She loves to play a good joke and can be seen on our Facebook page getting a pie in the face, wearing a nun costume for an annual fund campaign promotion, or heard telling a funny story about her dog at morning assembly so the students can laugh together and enjoy their community.”

Ferland also commented on the award recognition for Wilson: “Head of School Carrie Wilson has a deep-seated philosophy believing that everyone has a gift. This is to include adults and students. And they may not always know what that gift is. Under Carrie’s leadership and surrounded by a wonderful caring staff the school takes the seed of a gift that each student possesses and gives it water and gives it light. Everyone at Bishop Marshall contributes to the nurturing and growth of each student to reach their very best potential. This symmetry between students and staff brings out the very best in both.”

Bishop Marshall School is an independent Catholic school serving children in pre-K through eighth grade. Its goal is to provide children the ideal atmosphere to be who they were created to be, to reach their fullest potential and to protect their innocence.

The school is proud of its advanced academic program.  At the end of each year, students take the Terra Nova standardized test, which is a comprehensive assessment that benchmarks performance across the country.  BJAMS students rank between 1-4+ years ahead of the national average on the Terra Nova tests.  This is possible because of the curriculum, and the amazing faculty, the loving and nurturing environment in which the students can excel, and dedicated parents.

More than 80 percent of students make honor roll in this advanced curriculum.