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Elementary school in Perry Township named finalist for global award

William Henry Burkhart Elementary a finalist for school award

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A public elementary school in Indianapolis’ Perry Township on Tuesday was recognized on a global stage for excellence.

Students and staff at Henry Burkhart Elementary learned Tuesday afternoon that their community has been selected to the top three for T4 Education’s World’s Best Schools Prizes.

The company headquartered in London provides educators with resources for professional development and worldwide networking through a digital platform. The company describes its awards program as the world’s most prestigious in education that allows inspirational schools a way to share best practices for replication elsewhere.

A $250,000 award is shared among recipients honored in five prizes for Community Collaboration, Environmental Action, Innovation, Overcoming Adversity and Supporting Healthy Lives. T4 Education announced Henry Burkhart Elementary made the final three for community collaboration, citing it in a release as “a shining example of the American spirit of community in its effort to welcome and support refugees from Myanmar.”

The founder of T4 Education congratulated the school for building what he called an exceptional teaching and learning environment. Vikas Pota said in a statement, “As the world seeks to tackle a deepening education crisis, this outstanding Indianapolis school lights the path to a better future. It’s time for governments everywhere to listen to your voice and learn from your expertise.”

Only one other school in the United States has advanced to the same stage of the prize selections. A preparatory boarding school and sports training destination in Bradenton, Florida, was named a finalist for supporting healthy lives.

According to Elizabeth Choi, the communications director for Perry Township Schools, the winner in each prize category will receive $50,000.

“Win or lose, we believe we’ve already won,” Choi said in an email to News 8. “To be considered one of the top schools in the world is an honor.”

School leaders hosted an assembly during which Perry Township Schools Superintendent Patrick Spray announced the Henry Burkhart’s advancement in the competition. The school has planned a celebration for families of students and the surrounding community from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday. The festivities will include games, activities, bounce houses and refreshments.